Before we get to who Zo is, let’s talk about the app she resides in, GroupMe.
GroupMe is a mobile group messaging app owned by Microsoft, similar to What’s App or a simple group chat on your phone; but, only a little more sophisticated with features like creating events or polls. Zo is a social AI (artificial intelligence) chat bot (or robot of sorts) that is automatically added to your contact list by Microsoft.
When added to a group, Zo will have access to your display name, messages, and any other content you and other members of the group share. GroupMe
Did you get that??? It’s a “person” who can read everything that you or others in your group chat post. You can remove this “spy” using the following steps:
- Open the GroupMe app on your phone.
- Click the menu bar at the top left of the app (it looks like 3 horizontal lines)
- Select Contacts.
- Search for “Zo” or scroll down to locate her.
- Click on her name.
- Select Block. The contact should then look like the screenshot below.
Remember, somebody is always watching… 👀👀👀 especially in FREE apps/services!
In the last few days, several reports have emerged outlining steps the United States Federal Government is taking in realm of (personal) technology. These accounts are in line with what I recently told you in a post about Smart Speakers. When it comes to technology, privacy/security trumps EVERYTHING and the three (3) reports below are proof that the contentious convergence of government and technology is here to stay.
Here’s what you need to know:
Amazon, Google, Microsoft… Selling face-snooping tech to the Feds (The Register)
- Why should you care? More than 85 advocacy groups focused on a diverse set of social issues, including racial justice, religious liberty, civil rights, human rights, and immigrant rights have raised concerns about this practice, including the ACLU.
- You can read the full text of their letter here.
“History has clearly taught us that the government will exploit technologies like face surveillance to target communities of color, religious minorities, and immigrants.”
Feds Can’t Force You To Unlock Your iPhone…. With Finger Or Face (Forbes)
- Why should you care? The judge says all logins are equal. In the past, they couldn’t force you to give up your pass code, now fingerprints, facial recognition (or other future innovations… i.e. voice) are also included. Forcing you to do this could be the equivalent of forcing you to self incriminate.
“If a person cannot be compelled to provide a pass code because it is a testimonial communication, a person cannot be compelled to provide one’s finger, thumb, iris, face, or other biometric feature to unlock that same device,” the judge wrote.
Feds to allow drones to to fly over crowds at night… and make routine night flights (ABC)
- Why should you care? Rogue drones have been used to carry bombs on battlefields, to deliver contraband to prisoners, to interfere with firefighters and, last month, to cripple the operations of a major airport.
- Last year, Congress approved a measure that will let the government develop a system to identify and hack or shoot down drones that authorities deem threatening.
- Do these statements make you feel safe?
“Drones can collect massive amounts of sensitive data from people and can be equipped with facial recognition technology as well as license plate reading software”
Suzette Kemp is the Federal Government’s Chief Information Officer (CIO) appointed by President Donald Trump. The federal CIO is charged with driving government wide technology policy, leading the federal CIO Council and often putting out unexpected IT fires. She has recently said her office is crafting legislation to provide the government with “guardrails” for how to incorporate the technologies and ensure they don’t possess bias that runs counter to the mission of agencies (FedScoop).