Your phone's wifi signal can be used to identify your gait (way you walk). Your gait is unique enough that it can be used to identify you. If there is prior video footage of view, it can be matched to that too. Impressive research, scary implications

@axx You hardly even need anything this sophisticated most of the time. There are a ton of ways to identify cellphones uniquely via wifi, bluetooth, or the mobile signal itself. And most of the time it's trivial to link a cellphone to a person.

The signals can even be picked up from space using an antenna array and processing that's well within the budget of government spy agencies.


@freakazoid @axx

As far as I understand the article, it is not about using the Wifi signal of the phone's user, but rather to characterize the gait of anyone thanks to its impact on any Wifi radiation.

So, even if you are without any electronic device in your pocket, you can still be identified!

This is much more frightening than simply identifying you with the Bluetooth of your phone...

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@xavierluthi @freakazoid oh damn, you might be right. I need to go back and read the article again.

@xavierluthi @freakazoid you are absolutely right, it uses the perturbation to radio frequency signals that human beings unavoidably create just be moving in them. I'll have to reconsider what this really means for privacy.

@axx @xavierluthi Ah, yeah, wifi as passive radar is pretty scary. Time to turn every wall into a faraday cage. Of course, nobody will do that because the only way they'll be able to get Internet in the near future is via 5G.

@axx @xavierluthi That's the opposite of the direction things are going in. Home Internet, to say nothing of last-mile fiber, is going to go the same way as land lines.

@freakazoid @xavierluthi That's a pretty dramatic view of things, but i fear there quite a bit of truth to that. And it makes sense, the business strategy for many of these people is to turn everything into a service. So why bother with having an endpoint + wifi access point in your house, when you can just pay monthly for a service that gives you a "ubiquitous, always functional wifi"?

@axx @xavierluthi I don't think it's remotely dramatic. Broadband to the home has progressed much more slowly than wireless broadband, and 5G surpasses the speed and latency of nearly everyone's home Internet connection. Cities are falling all over themselves to hand rights over to the carriers to get it deployed as fast as possible, the main thing being permission to deploy the microcells on lamp posts. It doesn't take much imagination to see where that's headed.

@xavierluthi @axx The carriers are chomping at the bit to be able to charge people a monthly fee for every device that's able to access the Internet. It's also a fantastic opportunity for them to push their own streaming services or charge a fee for independent streaming services to operate.

It's also a fantastic gift to authoritarians: having every device individually registered means they finally get the Internet Passport they've always wanted.

@axx @xavierluthi We will probably be able to hold our ground for a while in places that already have widely deployed wired broadband, but in much of the world mobile is already the only means available to access the Internet. Investment in wired broadband to the home is going to come to a screeching halt, so anyone who wants access to streaming AAA games who doesn't already have the bandwidth is going to have no choice but to switch to 5G for it.

@xavierluthi @axx I wouldn't even be surprised if streaming game platforms refuse to support home Internet connections because of the lack of a latency SLA, which 5G provides.

@axx @xavierluthi Incidentally, I think the only way to get people to give a shit about this stuff is to make the technique accessible to more than just governments. When it's not only available to a mysterious shadowy entity people can pretend either doesn't exist, doesn't care about them, or has less capability than it does (or more, if it's necessary to justify a fatalistic view), maybe people will pay more attention.

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