In the News: Anti-ultrasound tech aims to foil the dog-whistle marketeers (The Register)

Featured in The Register article, Anti-ultrasound tech aims to foil the dog-whistle marketeers by John Leyden:

On a similar theme, former NSA analyst David Venable, now vice president of Masergy, gave a presentation on the advertising industry’s use of the Big Data technologies pioneered by intelligence agencies and governments.

Venable outlined techniques to prevent selected activities from being associated with someone’s true persona, with a focus on making the true persona blend in with the masses. Going off the grid need not be the answer, and in any case might make someone stand out more, Venable told El Reg.

“Bad data can lead to bad decisions,” he said. “Biased algorithms reflect the biases of creators, which is why you might want to avoid them.”

Venable’s idea is to rethink operational security principles, which normally involve staying under the radar of government agencies and the police, to avoid motor insurance providers and credit reference agencies. “It’s about choosing what information you reveal and mindfulness,” he said.

Part of this involves thinking about the apps installed on a smartphone, as well as more subtle defences such as keeping a phone in another room in case an app is recording audio. Venable does not, however, advocate keeping smartphones in the refrigerator before taking meetings, as per Edward Snowden. ®

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