iOS 13 Has an Important Bluetooth Privacy Feature

· · Link

Jared Newman writes about the iOS 13 Bluetooth privacy feature. When an app needs to access Bluetooth, iOS displays an alert so you can allow or deny the request. Bluetooth can be used to track you, which is why Apple added the feature. I’ve seen these alerts a couple of times running the iOS 13 public beta. I disagree with Mr. Newman though; I don’t think it’s too confusing. Just think about the app and whether it legitimately needs Bluetooth. For example, if you need to connect a device to your iPhone, you’ll need Bluetooth. But apps like Google Maps and YouTube don’t need Bluetooth (and I’ve seen alerts and denied them both).

Prior to iOS 13, apps could use Bluetooth to collect detailed location data from users without explicit permission, using tracking beacons in retail stores and other public locations. Even if users had denied an app access their location data, Bluetooth could have provided a workaround.

Sinji Over-the-Ear Bluetooth Headphones: $25.99

· · TMO Deals

We have a deal on a pair of Sinji over-the-ear Bluetooth headphones. Offering a simple, no-frills design and Bluetooth 4.1, these headphones offer an inexpensive entry to over-the-ear listening. They are rechargeable, with up to 12 hours of playback time. They’re $25.99 through our deal, 67% off the retail price.

Bluetooth Beacons Can Track You Inside Stores

· · Link

Bluetooth beacons are small devices that some stores hide throughout the building. Apps on your phone can pick up the signals they emit and send information back.

In order to track you or trigger an action like a coupon or message to your phone, companies need you to install an app on your phone that will recognize the beacon in the store. Retailers (like Target and Walmart) that use Bluetooth beacons typically build tracking into their own apps. But retailers want to make sure most of their customers can be tracked — not just the ones that download their own particular app.

I bet iOS 13’s new Bluetooth controls will affect this.

The Clever Cryptography Behind iOS 13 ‘Find My’

· · Link

iOS 13 ‘Find My’ combines Find My Friends and Find My iPhone. Apple says it uses Bluetooth signals from Apple devices even if they’re offline. And the encryption scheme it uses means that third party attackers can’t track Apple devices, and Apple can’t track them either.

In a background phone call with WIRED following that keynote, Apple broke down that privacy element, explaining how its “encrypted and anonymous” system avoids leaking your location data willy nilly, even as your devices broadcast a Bluetooth signal explicitly designed to let you track your device. The solution to that paradox, it turns out, is a trick that requires you to own at least two Apple devices. Each one emits a constantly changing key that nearby Apple devices use to encrypt and upload your geolocation data, such that only the other Apple device you own possesses the key to decrypt those locations.

Bang & Olufsen H4 Bluetooth Headphones: $153 with Coupon Code

· · TMO Deals

We have a deal on a pair of Bang & Olufsen H4 Bluetooth Headphones. These over-the-ear headphones have on-device controls, and they’re made from leather, aluminum, polymer and steel. They have up to 19 hours of playback time, and they also come with a 1.2 m audio cable with 3.5 mm mini-jack as an alternative to wireless connectivity. They’re $179.99 through our deal, but coupon code WEEKEND15 brings the price down to $153 at checkout.

Oomo 3D 5.1 Virtual Surround Sound Bluetooth Earphones: $102.95

· · TMO Deals

Oomo 3D 5.1 Virtual Surround Sound Bluetooth Earphones

We have a deal on a pair of Oomo 3D 5.1 Virtual Surround Sound Bluetooth Earphones. According to the manufacturer, they feature a patented acoustic structure that separates the sound frequencies to provide clarity and 3D Virtual 5.1 Surround Sound. the deal listing has all the details. They’re $102.95 through our deal, which is 20% off retail.

Anker Soundcore Flare Bluetooth Speaker: $59.99

· · TMO Deals

Anker Soundcore Flare Bluetooth Speaker

We have a deal on the Anker Soundcore Flare Bluetooth Speaker. This speaker features back-to-back drivers with Bluetooth 4.2 support. It also has LED lights at the base for adding atmosphere to your tunes. This device is $59.99 through us.

Boxing Day with Your Two Favorite Geeks – Mac Geek Gab 689

· & · Mac Geek Gab Podcast

Mac Geek Gab Logo

Recurring Keychain authorization requests bugging you? iMessages out of order? Want to know what to do with your dead drives? This is just where your two favorite geeks start this week’s episode. Then it’s on to a headphone and earphone discussion, including some talk about letting ambient sound in, and letting someone else listen in on your bluetooth connection! Cool Stuff Found rounds out the show. Press play, listen, and learn! Oh, and enjoy, too.