Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Cellphones and your privacy.

Recently Supreme Court ordered Indian Govt. to curb the nuisance created by the tele-marketing people. How often you've received these annoying phone calls about credit cards, house loans, and what not. RG will vouch for it, how annoyingly dumb these tele-marketers are (He was once asked to go for Silver card since he already had Gold card :) ). And they just don't let go of it so easily! Certainly its a good decision and a definite relief for the customers.

But its just a teeny-weeny side-effect of the flourishing mobile market in India. If you thought tele-marketing was an invasion to your privacy, think about a scenerio where your location can be tracked as accurately as some meters, or even less! Read this and you'll come to know that your new mobile phone is already acting as a homing device, sending signals to satelites constantly revealing your whereabouts! There is another simple way to detect your current location via your mobile phone. Mobile phone service companies divide the entire area in hexagonal cells, defined with the help of three towers. You are serviced by the nearest towers. Currently this information is utilized by the service providers for LBS (location based services). But its quite elementry to use the location of three nearest towers and work out the exact location of the mobile phone.

Right now the service providers are using this information to provide inane LBS, but no law prevents them to sell this information. This now, is a scary scenario! The constitution provides everyone of us the right of privacy (Privacy : The state of being free from unsanctioned intrusion) and this is certainly a unsanctioned intrusion! Some might argue that, big deal people know where are you roaming, but I don't rate it any higher than stalking and that is a perversive act! So, while you enjoy all the cool features of your mobile phones, don't forget big bro is watching!

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