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Home / Tips and Tricks / Daily News Roundup: Impact of TrueCaller on Privacy

Daily News Roundup: Impact of TrueCaller on Privacy



TrueCaller is an app for Android and iPhone, with which Spam-Cammer can be identified. If someone calls you and it turns out to be spam, mark it that way and anyone using TrueCaller will see a warning.

Alternatively, if you happen to know the person who called the name, you can give a number the correct name, making the service somewhat like a crowd-sourced phone book that you share with everyone. However, the shared function has some disruptive effects.

A radio journalist named Chloe described how the app got them out and potentially put them in danger. Due to the sensitivity of her work and the fact that she frequently travels to places hostile to journalists, she remains unremarkable. It does not appear on the screen, restricts the use of its social media, and so on. When she arrives in a new country, she buys a new SIM card and phone number to speak to sources.

Imagine her surprise when she called her phone for a taxi and asked the taxi driver about her job as a journalist. He showed his TrueCaller app, which identified by name and location.

When she called a source, the app pinged her to identify her number. They gave their name and their media. This action spread its identity to anyone using TrueCaller. If the country had been hostile to journalists, there could have been serious problems.

The problem here is that TrueCaller does not ask for permission to add a person to its database. When information is provided, it will not be forwarded to the owner of the number with an invitation, confirmation, or even a method to verify the accuracy of the information.

Imagine sending a letter to a friend each time You could tick a box that would pass your return address to everyone else who receives mail from the post office. This is a similar concept.

TrueCaller has a method of un-listing your phone number. However, if you've been marked as spam (a unique RoboCalls feature), you can not use this method. For most people, the way TrueCaller deals with people's personal data without consent may not be a big deal. But for those who need anonymity ̵

1; or just like their privacy – this could potentially be a big problem.

This is not the first time this topic has been discussed. Years ago, an app called Mr. Number discontinued its similar crowd-sourcing feature when Google changed its terms of service. This amendment explicitly states: "We do not permit unauthorized publication or disclosure of non-public contacts of persons" and it remains valid until today. This means that the functionality of TrueCaller also violates these Terms of Use. [ifex]

In other news:

  • Google had a weekend outage: Google Cloud services failed over the weekend and many people took Youtube, Gmail, Snapchat, Discord, and more. We're still waiting to hear what happened, but at least we can watch our cat videos again and send selfies. [Android Authority]
  • Apple's WWDC is today: Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference begins today with a keynote that should include interesting announcements. The rumors include a new dark mode for tablets and phones, redesigned apps, and the ability to use an iPad as a second display for Mac devices. [MacRumors]
  • Cuphead Comes to Tesla: Cuphead, the incredibly tricky hand-drawn game that was originally run on Xbox, makes the leap to another console. Or rather a car. Tesla is working to bring the game with controller support to his tablet dashboard. Neat? [Digital Trends]
  • Oppo and Xiaomi tease sub-screen cameras : Go over the hole, goodbye, two phone manufacturers show a camera that lives under the screen. Unlike the punch concept, the camera acts as an indicator when the area is not used. At the very least, the idea seems less prone to errors than pop-out hardware. [TechCrunch]
  • Pokémon Go Ceases Apple Watch Support: Pokémon Go developer Niantic announced that Apple Watch support will be discontinued after July 1. You'll find all the features that the Watch app for the game offers elsewhere. Therefore, the developer decides not to attract attention anymore. It's a sad day for your two friends who are still playing the game. [Nintendo Life]
  • Sim swap attacks lead to stolen cryptocurrency: Sim swap attacks are more common today. Bad actors convince a mobile operator to use social engineering to transfer their phone number to their sim. Once you have access to your account, you can reset any account that uses it for verification. In this case, to steal cryptocurrency. [ZDNet]
  • NorthFace apologizes for playing Wikipedia: NorthFace recently exchanged images in Wikipedia entries of famous locations for photos with the company logo. Everything to top the Google Image search results. The company called it a collaboration, but Wikipedia did not know it and took it all down. Now the company apologizes for its actions (or at least for being caught). Maybe the logo can be inserted in an entry for "gross". [BBC]
  • Microsoft may be working on a two-screen device: According to sources, Microsoft gave some employees an early preview of an upcoming device. We have seen persistent rumors about a dual-screen device for years. Maybe this is finally a starting point for the reality. Or there is always the possibility that it will never see the light of day. As long as we have no more than unnamed sources, the latter seems as likely as the former. [The Verge]

In an unexpected turn, doctors had recently cleared a fire in a man's chest during an operation. The amazing thing is that the rest of the operation went well and the man remained unhurt once the fire was extinguished.

The fire arose from a series of unfortunate events. During cardiac surgery, the doctors opened the man's sternum, a normal part of the procedure, and found parts of his lungs sticking to the bone. To continue the operation, the doctors had to move the lung parts with the air-filled bladders. As they released the lunch from the breastbone, they managed to pierce one of the blisters, which of course resulted in an air leak.

In this case, the surgeons will turn on their anesthesia and add oxygen to the mixture (up to 100% oxygen), so they do not drown. And now, in an oxygen-rich area, the tools they use to cut tissue create a spark near a dry surgical pack. The only result could be fire.

After the surgeons quietly extinguished a fire in a man's chest, stopped the operation, saved his life, and left him nothing bad for the ordeal (what did you do this week?), You decided to investigate if this had ever happened, and discovered several appropriate cases.

Surprisingly, the patient came out of the ordeal unscathed in any case. One wonders if perhaps something should be changed to prevent future fires in the chest. Meanwhile, in terms of multitasking under heavy pressure, I bow to the surgeons' abilities everywhere. [Gizmodo]


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