We Know If Your Mobile Phone Is On

from the oops dept

A slightly confusing article about a company in Germany that caused quite a mess by putting a simple little demo on their website. The demo let you easily find out whether or not anyone had their mobile phone on without them knowing. Apparently, this is a “feature” that not many people knew was included in the SMS text-messaging standard. Lots of people flipped out about privacy questions, and the company took down the demo. Now people are trying to figure out who to blame, and how to make sure such things don’t happen again. Of course, people have been talking about things like “presence” info for a while, and it wouldn’t surprise me if such services (though, only with users’ permissions) were available in the near future.

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