Kyle McDonald

If you re connected to a wireless network, odds are high that little bits of data are trickling out of your device like water from a leaky faucet.

Recently at Moogfest, a music and technology festival in Durham, N.C., McDonald with the help of fellow artist Surya Mattu created an installation called WiFi Whisperer that called attention to all that data your phone is giving away for free.

By partnering with Festify, Moogfest s wireless internet provider, the artists were able to grab even more data—things like the names of networks you were previously connected to, your device s MAC address, the host name of your laptop or phone, the server your http traffic is aiming for, and even text from whatever website you re visiting.

And finally, if you really want to be safe, use a virtual private network, which will help safeguard against HTTP traffic leaking but not against hardware and network-level leaking.

That perspective has shifted over the years, especially in our post-Snowden era.

Now, he says artists don t need to be whistleblowers; rather, he believes they need to help people understand the immediate impact of security issues.

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