Privacy is dead: “find my car” edition

iPhone apps can cause trouble. The Register:

An iPhone app released a few days ago called “Find My Car” has just turned into a PR disaster for shopping centre operator Westfield.

The idea seemed neat enough: download the app, and if you lose your car, just enter the number plate, which Westfield’s cameras had captured and indexed. Someone forgetting where they’d parked their car can then be shown a photo of where the car is.

As blogger Troy Hunt points out in this blog post, anyone can view anyone’s car.

Worse, he writes, the application can easily be unpicked to download the location, plates, entry and exit times of every vehicle in the Bondi shopping centre in which the service was first rolled out.

Picking the application apart, he says, shows that Westfield is “storing and making publicly accessible the time of entry and number plate of every single vehicle in the centre.”

Moreover, he demonstrates that access to this data isn’t just confined to someone using the “Find My Car” app: it’s on “public display to anyone with an Internet connection.”

All the technical detail you care to know can be found on Troy Hunt’s blog here.

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About Guy N. Texas

Guy N. Texas is the pen name of a lawyer living in Dallas, who is now a liberal. He was once conservative, but this word has so morphed in meaning that he can no longer call himself that in good conscience. Guy has no political aspirations. He speaks only for himself.
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