Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Technology which can read the SIM card details being installed at Moscow Subway

The headline for this article caught my attention because it implied the authorities may have the ability to read the data on everyone’s mobile phone. I decided to do a little more reading.

Moscow Subway To Use Devices To Read Data On Phones... Read More

A while ago I also read about marketers who were putting technology into stores to identify where shoppers were in the store and wonder if it was related. I don’t think it is. From what I’ve read it would be possible to put a mini receiver like a cell tower which could pick up the IMEI number (which is unique to the mobile phone) and the SIM’s serial number (which is transmitted to mobile phone tower).

What I thought was particularly interesting is that in Russia it is illegal to track a person without permission from the authorities, but it isn’t illegal to track the property of a company. When we buy a mobile phone we never own the SIM card. Thus the SIM card would appear to be something that doesn’t belong to you but in general can often uniquely identify who you are and when you were at a location.

If the government is only using the system as an alert system it has the potential to alert authorities to stolen devices and possibly the movement of people under watch. But if the government decided to log the information, over time it could potentially log the movement of citizens on the public transport network. Any stored information is always at risk of being leaked to those we would prefer did not have access to the information.

If you’re concerned about others monitoring your movements whether it be authorities, the criminal element in our society, or even retailers and marketers, keep in mind all that is required is to turn your mobile off. The choice is always yours.

- Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for help with your computer problem.
Servicing Templestowe, Doncaster, Eltham and the surrounding area.

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