How Much Does My Phone Say You Love Me?

from the when-gov't-eavesdropping-isn't-enough dept

An interesting new application in Korea takes up where governmental spy agencies leave off. You see, the pesky thing about government spying is that they won’t let you use the tools or analyze their data. Well, all that is now behind us with the advent of KT Freetel’s new “Love Detector” application for mobile phones on their network. The Love Detector uses advanced speech analysis techniques (actually used by Israeli security service, Mossad) to surmise the amount that the other party “loves you”. There is also an application for determining if a party is lying or telling the truth. After a monitored call, an MMS message is sent describing the results of the analysis. The application lives in the network, not the phone, and is invoked by dialing a prefix (for the truth or lying bit, the prefix is James Bond’s 007; for the “does s/he love me” trick, it’s 42 — perhaps a reference to the meaning of life, as per Douglas Adams) before the call you want to evaluate. The service costs either $1/use or $2.50/mo subscription. To be fair, it’s being billed as “entertainment” and nothing more, and it may even be fun to try out – but there are obvious privacy implications that should be discussed. If you’re not allowed to tape someone without their knowledge (in parts of the US at least), then are you allowed to use electronic analysis tools?

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Comments on “How Much Does My Phone Say You Love Me?”

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Brad says:

Don't be stupid

The voice analysis isn’t against the law because it isn’t being stored. There’s no law against letting a third party listen in on the call and give you their feedback – if there was then half of the middle school female population of the world would be in jail.

Unless the system stores the voice, there’s not even the remotest of privacy laws here. So an automated system analysed the pitch variance in your phone call – big effin’ deal. Most of the time this kind of stuff get’s way over-hyped, despite that it is grossly inaccurate and easily fooled. They sell desktop gadgets that do this, too.

Derek Kerton (profile) says:


Brad, I certainly introduced the subject of legal issues with my comparison to taping a call, but please note that what I actually wrote is that: “there are obvious privacy implications that should be discussed.”

Those implications are abundantly present, whether they are a legal issue or not.

But you’re probably right, anyway. The accuracy may be so bad that it is really irrelevant, and just an entertainment app.

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