[funsec] Wireless: Cracking down on crime in a cellular era

Richard Cox richard at beijing.spamhaus.cn
Sun Oct 30 10:36:43 CST 2005


On Sun, 30 Oct 2005 15:20:14 +0000 (GMT)
Drsolly <drsollyp at drsolly.com> wrote:

>> This sets a rather disturbing precedent...
> Why is this more disturbing that any other police appeal to the
> public for information about a crime?

Because it made use of the location-information already in the network
(from the cell registration data) to identify WHICH phones to send the
text messages to.  In the case of any phone with more than one user,
that would reasonably be considered a breach of the privacy of whoever
was using the phone at the time of the original incident - who would,
of course, have been completely innocent of any (related) crime.

While people are generally aware now that cellphone location data can
be used to provide location-relevant services and information in real
time (taxis, restaurants, maps etc) the impression generally held is
that the data is volatile and not stored ... whereas in fact it IS
stored and can be accessed for any lawful purpose after the "event".

Yes, it does set a rather disturbing precedent, 

-- 
Richard


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