Dating fuzz faces
ago, I warned my wife that the experiment I was about to engage in was entirely non-sexual, lest she glance over my shoulder at my i Phone. I set my profile photo as a cat, and carefully turned off the "show distance" feature in the app's privacy settings, an option meant to hide my location.
"In the US that's not a problem [for some users,] but in Islamic countries or in Russia, it can be very serious that their information is leaked like that."The Kyoto researchers’ method is a new twist on an old privacy problem for Grindr and its more than ten million users: what’s known as trilateration.If Grindr or a similar app tells you how far away someone is—even if it doesn’t tell you in which direction—you can determine their exact location by combining the distance measurement from three points surrounding them, as shown in the the image at right.In late 2014, Grindr responded to security researchers who pointed out that risk by offering an option to turn off the app’s distance-measuring feature, and disabling it by default in countries known to have “a history of violence against the gay community,” like Russia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Sudan.Hornet and Jack’d have options to obscure the exact distance between users’ phones, adding noise to obscure that trilateration attack.The lingering issue, however, remains: All three apps still show photos of nearby users in order of proximity.
And that ordering allows what the Kyoto researchers call a trilateration attack.