Tired of being tracked online, teens figured out a way to fool Instagram
The Daily Charge
How do you do fellow kids?
We've got all the news about a new way teens are staying private online.
Technology, stick around for your Daily Charge.
Morning and welcome to daily charge it's Tuesday, February fourth.
I'm Joan Solsman
And I'm Alfred.
And here are today's headlines.
Our top story today how teens have figured out a way to keep all their Instagram activity private.
From Instagram itself, I've already wrote all about this.
What's the new trend?
So, a group of high school students in Maryland have started using shared accounts on Instagram, because they figured out it messes up the data The Social Network collects on you.>>Right?
So, when you go to your explore tab, it usually shows you a very curated feed of all your interest, right?
That's because Instagram collects a ton of data about you from your devices and your browsing habits on the app.
What these kids figured out is if I have a real life social network of 20 something people on one account All in different locations with different interests and habits, it messes up the data that Instagram collects.
This is a concept known as collaborative obfuscation and it happens a lot in the past.
So supermarkets for example, they collect data on new theories like rewards cards programs, a group started forming online to trade and swap these cards to mess up the data.
You might also be familiar with this concept from that Spartacus scene when the Emperor comes and asked for Spartacus to show himself so he can kill him.
And every slave gets up and says, I'm Spartacus.
Right but one of the main rules of Security101 is don't share your password.
So is this a Terrible security practice.
I mean, definitely don't share passwords that you use for important accounts.
But what these kids have been doing is they've been making multiple Instagram accounts, which teens often do.
You know, you have your real Instagram, your Finster
Account you have a group account and And then it's for the shared accounts.
And if you're smart about it, it's a password that you never use for the other accounts.
Then instead of sharing the password, sometimes they'll send the Reset Password links for other people to log in instead.
Because having your password reset doesn't log you out.
So in some cases, they don't even need to share passwords with people, I mean, there's still ways that this could go wrong, but ultimately, this whole system relies on teams that trust each other more than they trust Instagram.
Next up, if you're like me and you woke up this morning without any clue about what was going on at Iowa, good news, nobody knows what's happening and Iowa so we're not alone.
Last night, the highly anticipated results of the Iowa caucuses were delayed because of problems with a new app the Iowa Democratic Party has been using to tally the votes.
The party says the problem isn't a hack or any outside interference and the delay is in the reporting of the votes.
Alfred does this raise any concerns about election security?
So a lot of the concern around election security is always like the voting machines getting hacked, right like you hear about that a lot, but as we're seeing with Iowa.
A lot of the issues with technology in elections doesn't even need hackers involved.
Part of the concern from election officials and the intelligence community has always been the disinformation campaigns that come after the vote.
So even if nothing was hacked, if people believe that it was and the results are not accepted as legitimate You've essentially compromised democracy without breaking into anything.
And that's where the big concern is with Iowa.
With conspiracy theories flying across twitter on the app, being purposely rigged to benefit a certain candidate, while another candidate claiming he won, Even though no results have come in yet.
What are some of the problems like what are the things that you've been seeing on Twitter?
What are people saying?
There's been a lot of issues with this app.
So this is the first time it's even being rolled out for an election and If you have a major product, like maybe test it out before rolling on, I don't know, the Iowa caucus, which-
The most highly watched.
I mean, I know that there are other election security stuff that were there trying on lower scale things.
Where it's like they'll try it out for like School board election or something like that and with this they're just saying yeah, we'll just throw it out there and see what happens-
So this is the very first time that they tried this.
Yeah basically and apparently The Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said this.
He told this to Fox News where he was saying that the Iowa Democratic Party turned down their offer to test out the app to see like how good it was before the election.
So Yeah, I mean, there is a lot of things going on with this.
The app was developed by a company called Shadow.
Yeah, yeah, you can name your company non-shady things, right?
But yeah, I mean, we're still finding out more about this as as it goes on.
I mean, people are starting to call it like the Iowa caucus disaster now or something like that.
This has not turned out well, but I mean, I think the bigger concern is the disinformation part of it because the Iowa Democratic Party has said like.
We've counted all the votes properly.
That's stuff safe.
It was basically the way that the app was returning data to us saying hey, this can't be right.
So I mean, they have hand written ballots also.
So I mean, they just gonna take longer.
I don't think the vote was hacked in any way, but I mean, all this chaos that happens around, there's always prime opportunity For this information campaign.
Right, okay, for the Daily Charge I'm Joan E Solsman.
I'm Alfred Ng.
Thanks for joining us.