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When Our Devices Rat Us Out
We've moved this month's meeting up from the 28th to the 21st, due to the 28th being Memorial Day.
There will come a time when it isn't "They're spying on me through my phone" anymore. Eventually, it will be "My phone is spying on me." ― Philip K. Dick
Every day our smartphones, laptops and other devices transmit invisible bytes of data across networks around the world, leaving a deep and permanent digital footprint. Some of this data we are aware of, such as information we post on social networks, or sharing GPS coordinates with a mapping app to locate the nearest restaurant. However, there is a less visible layer of data that at first may seem innocuous, but once aggregated can provide fragments of data that can be reticulated to unveil information regarding identity, location and other potentially invasive and incriminating evidence. This information can be used to solve crimes, as well as abused. Technology is rapidly increasing the rate at which this data is being used by law enforcement, governments, hackers and advertisers alike, with many surprisingly taking advantage of the hazy gray area where antiquated laws and advanced technology meet.
Ken Westin will be presenting several real-life case studies where he has used various technologies and techniques to track down suspects and stolen devices including laptops, smartphones, digital cameras, flash drives, iPods and more. The evidence and research he has provided to law enforcement around the world has helped unveil and solve larger crimes from organized crime rings, car theft, drugs, identity theft and even a violent car jacking. He will be discussing other technologies and information that law enforcement use such as facial recognition, cell tower simulators and access to wireless carrier and ISP customer records. He will also discuss instances where corporations have have used invasive methods and technologies to gain a competitive edge at the cost of your privacy.
About the Speaker
Ken Westin is the founder of the popular GadgetTrak cross-platform mobile security and data protection software. Ken launched the first GadgetTrak product in 2007, which provided a way to track media devices such as iPods, digital cameras and external drives. He was awarded a patent for the technology in early 2009, which is has since been embedded in hardware by manufacturers such as Seagate and FLIR.
In 2008 Westin launched the first tracking solution for laptops that utilized integrated web cameras to capture photos of thieves and Wi-Fi positioning for location, resulting in a number of amazing recoveries. Last year the company launched a new mobile security platform that allows users to track missing devices, capture photos and remotely wipe, encrypt and backup sensitive data. He has also recently launched CameraTrace, an innovative free service enabling people to search the web for photos taken with their camera by serial number.
GadgetTrak’s technology has been featured on Dateline NBC, Good Morning America and many top news and tech sites including the New York Times, Forbes, TechCrunch, The Economist and more. The company was recently named in Entrepreuner Magazine's "100 Brilliant Companies" and has won honors and awards from MIT, Tech America, SXSW, CTIA amongst others.