Are mobile phone carriers spying on us? Edward Snowden explains it all

Edward Snowden pulled the curtain off several popular tactics by mobile phone carriers and tech giants used to spy on users. He made these revelations in a recent podcast on the Joe Rogan show.

A former CIA employee, Edward Snowden is famous for uncovering the unethical surveillance practices by the NSA. Previously, he leaked classified government documents to international media that showed the agency was tapping phone records of numerous users.

After exposing multiple government organizations, Snowden has taken shelter at a political asylum in Russia. He is likely to be charged with the Espionage Act if he ever returned to the USA.

How smartphones spy on us?

During the interview, Snowden revealed that many mobile carriers are using IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) and IMSI (International Mobile Subscriber Identity) codes to determine each movement of the users. The IMEI and IMSI are identification numbers of smartphones and SIM cards.

According to Snowden, when a phone is turned on – the carrier continuously records every movement of the user by assessing their distance with the two signal towers.

He points out that prior to the integration of smartphones; this type of information was private. However, digital technology has made it possible for mobile manufacturers and carriers to access the bulk information and even store it as a valued possession.

Edward says that no individual with a smartphone is exempted from this surveillance. Unfortunately, the users are not aware of this issue and continue to ‘hand over’ their privacy rights to their respective phone carriers, mobile manufacturers, and even app developers.
"It's not data that's being exploited and manipulated it's people that are being exploited and manipulated.", said Edward.
Currently, government agencies and tech giants have taken proactive action to secure the privacy of mobile users – specifically after the Facebook Cambridge Analytica Scandal. However, Edward says that the actions taken are not enough. And more should be done to minimize the recurrent privacy scandals.

Read next: Study Shows 90 Percent of Internet Users Do Not Want to Sell Personal Data
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