Sunday, February 11, 2007

be careful to your mobile, a risk to leak where you are

With the era of 3G coming, are u prepared for the era of leaking more of your privacy?

You may know that there will be more multimedia content in the 3G era, but do u know that 3G network could give the mobile operators a thorough picture on the location of mobile users anytime? Those information is attractive to many parties, including the advertisers, investigators, your friends or even your enemies? How to protect the privacy should be on the agenda of every country to protect the mobile users.

A South Korean media reported that the three largest mobile operators in South Korea(SK Telecom, KTF Telecom and LG Telecom) made a revenue of at least 230 billion S.Korean won by providing location information illegally from August 2005 to June 2006. (Chinese version of the story is here) The story said the three operators provided the location infomation of the mobile users to the third parties without the users' permission.

It should not be a problem in South Korea. In the 3G network, it is easier to get the location information in a dynamatic way. However, the location information should be the privacy of the mobile customers. You don't want to be followed all the time, isn't it?


Mr A.K. said...

Even before the 3g era comes, we've already been harrassed by the operator with GPRS service.
Unwelcomed message, ad, all kinds of junk flood into your phone. So I can imagine how awful could it be when they are equipped with more advanced tools.
You would be terrified one day when a salesman runs into you on the street, calling your name and handing you a free sample.

marcel ekkel said...

Hi Amy,

Interesting topic indeed.

Location based information was available in 2G stage as well. In Holland there was a mobile operater offering a service to allow you friends to check on a website where you they could find you easily. This was permission based. It wasn't a great succes though.

As already proven by the Korean companies, the data available to TELCO;s is very interesting for many content providers. It can be annoying, but there can be some good things as well. If you can preset what kind of information you are interested in.

Kung Hei Fat CHOY!

Amy or koala said...

Thanks Marcel. Happy Chinese New Year too.

Thanks for telling me that Holland also had those location info in 2G era. That's interesting. I agree that a lot of opportunities are available for content providers, especially in China.