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  1. #1
    heart on fire
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    Default Cellphones to keep track of your purchases -- and you

    Cellphones to keep track of your purchases -- and you

    March 16, 2008


    "...The same chip-based technology that California won't allow to be forcibly placed under people's skin will soon be ubiquitous in cellphones, which the telecom industry believes will be increasingly used as electronic wallets to make purchases.

    Virtually all leading cellphone makers are already introducing this technology to their handsets. Payments by cellphone are expected to explode over the next few years as more stores are equipped to handle such transactions.

    Here's how it'll work: You go to the Gap, select a pair of khakis and wave your phone in front a reader at the cash register. The purchase price is instantly deducted from your checking account like a debit card or applied to a credit card account. A record of the purchase is also entered into the Gap's databaseThat's very convenient and will undeniably be a boon to shoppers, merchants and cellphone companies.

    What the technology also means, though, is that all cellphone owners, which is nearly everyone, will be technologically "tagged." In theory, anyone -- or any company or government agency -- with a desire to do so would be able to identify you from as much as 300 feet away and track you as you go about your business.

    Your cellphone would be constantly broadcasting your location, along with, possibly, your name, address and other potentially sensitive information. That's very convenient and will undeniably be a boon to shoppers, merchants and cellphone companies.

    What the technology also means, though, is that all cellphone owners, which is nearly everyone, will be technologically "tagged." In theory, anyone -- or any company or government agency -- with a desire to do so would be able to identify you from as much as 300 feet away and track you as you go about your business.

    Your cellphone would be constantly broadcasting your location, along with, possibly, your name, address and other potentially sensitive information.

    "The public has been slow to appreciate the privacy implications of this technology," said Simitian, who has a variety of other bills in the hopper to address various aspects of what's known as radio frequency identification, or RFID.

    "Most people don't realize that there's no law against who can read the information on an RFID tag, and no limit on what can be placed on the tag," Simitian said.

    ....(more at link)

  2. #2
    Member typo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by heart View Post
    Cellphones to keep track of your purchases -- and you

    March 16, 2008


    "...The same chip-based technology that California won't allow to be forcibly placed under people's skin will soon be ubiquitous in cellphones, which the telecom industry believes will be increasingly used as electronic wallets to make purchases.

    Virtually all leading cellphone makers are already introducing this technology to their handsets. Payments by cellphone are expected to explode over the next few years as more stores are equipped to handle such transactions.

    Here's how it'll work: You go to the Gap, select a pair of khakis and wave your phone in front a reader at the cash register. The purchase price is instantly deducted from your checking account like a debit card or applied to a credit card account. A record of the purchase is also entered into the Gap's databaseThat's very convenient and will undeniably be a boon to shoppers, merchants and cellphone companies.

    What the technology also means, though, is that all cellphone owners, which is nearly everyone, will be technologically "tagged." In theory, anyone -- or any company or government agency -- with a desire to do so would be able to identify you from as much as 300 feet away and track you as you go about your business.

    Your cellphone would be constantly broadcasting your location, along with, possibly, your name, address and other potentially sensitive information.
    ....(more at link)
    Convenience wise this doesn't seem much better than carrying a credit card. If the phone can replace my wallet altogether (i.e. driver's license, insurance card, library card etc.) that would be great, but to swipe my phone instead of swiping my card, particularly in exchange for letting anyone track me as I shop? I don't find that too appealing yet.

  3. #3
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    would this mean that my tendancy to forget my phone at home would make me lost in society?

    I don't think that sounds like a very pleasant idea
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  4. #4
    Member skip's Avatar
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    Another reason not to have one.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Dark Razor's Avatar
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    Actually your mobile phone is already trackable, even if it is turned off.

    What would change though is that now it could also be more easily monitored what you bought where and when, though this is already happening today as well, if you have one of those supermarket payback cards or what they are called.

  6. #6
    Senior Member substitute's Avatar
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    So? Just use cash to pay for things, that's what I do. Trace that, mofos. Cash lands in the bank account on Wednesday, I draw it all out and spend it bit by bit, day by day, as and when I need to. Just use the card now and again for online stuff you can't do by cash.

    Actually what's more sinister is that Phorm business... that's creepy on all levels...
    Ils se d�merdent, les mecs: trop bon, trop con..................................MY BLOG!

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  7. #7
    Feline Member kelric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by heart View Post
    That's very convenient and will undeniably be a boon to shoppers, merchants and cellphone companies.
    and pickpockets.

    At least with a credit card there's the theoretical expectation that it must be signed, and that the vendor should check for a signature and/or ID (the grocery stores here in town have started to do this consistently). Doesn't always happen, of course, but it's something. Not to mention that I'm not sure it's much "handier" than a credit card - unless it's supposed to turn the phone into a replacement for a wallet/purse as well?

    Probably not a huge deal for me personally I guess... I think the first time I so much as borrowed someone else's cell phone was like 3 weeks ago - my friend had the audacity to imply that I was somewhat behind the times! :ouch:

    Okay, perhaps he was right

    I must admit that I'm a bit curious as to why anyone would want this, though. Is the extra utility in being able to wave your phone in front of a reader to pay for something instead of using a credit/debit card really worth this thing being used to track you? Especially if it's using "active" RFID, where it would be transmitting on its own (instead of the much weaker "passive" version, where it only responds to other signals) - wouldn't that just wear the phone's battery out faster? I'm just not seeing a lot of positives here. Unless you're a cell phone company, or maybe a criminal.

  8. #8
    heart on fire
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    The companies want it for control and keeping data on us.

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