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There are 4 comments on Protecting the Identity in Your Pocket

  1. Great story.
    WBUR/NPR ran a story about a man living in Germany who asked for the data gathered through his cell phone provider that was being stored about him. Much to his surprise the data recorded his location where ever he was — not only when he received or sent texts or calls, but at all times. His whereabouts indicated when and where he went to work/school, to museums, out of town, etc.

    The data set was a treasure-trove of information about him that was stored and available.

  2. What was old is new again…..I was amused when I read this section of the article…. ” Say we meet in a bar and I want to send you my contact information. If I sent it through the internet, there’s all sorts of security issues associated with that. It would be nice if I could send this directly from my phone to your phone. We could do this in a way that had no exposure to eavesdropping over the internet. One of the advantages you have in this situation is that both phones are in the same environment, so they can sense the same environment. ”

    Kind of like we did with the ORIGINAL smartphones/pdas made by Palm – it was called beaming your business card to another Palm Pilot/phone via the infrared port…We were doing this “sophisticated secure transfer” way back when – before the iPhone was even a glint in Steve Jobs’ eye…

  3. Thank you for this article.
    I was so excited when I got my first smart phone two weeks ago. I asked my friends which phone was the best (iPhone, Blackberry or Droid), and the majority said Droid. I waited for the HTC Thunderbolt to be released, and got it the day it launched. Security was never a question in my mind, until I realized that the phone came with about 19 pre-installed apps (which can’t be uninstalled), and many of them have GPS tracking (or whatever). Not only do these apps eat away at my battery by constantly running, but they also let Verizon know where I am ALL the time. I’ve had to manually “Force Stop” all the apps I don’t use. If anyone knows how to disable these Apps or make my new phone more secure, please share.

  4. Responding to “What was old is new”: it’s tough to communicate technical matters in an interview (which one doesn’t get to see before publication). Our research goal is generating a shared symmetric key in each phone, without requiring users to come up with long random strings and type them perfectly into their phones. Although the Palm pilot had the ability to beam business cards, ‘snoopers’ could potentially listen in. We’re looking to enable encrypted communication between two phones, simply by holding them together and shaking them!
    Mark Crovella

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