Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Smartphone dangers, dumbphones, pagers

On July 17, 2012, the new edition of How to be Invisible was released, which included a chapter on SMARTPHONES, DUMBPHONES, PAGERS. Seven days later, a video of German Green politician Malte Spitz giving a talk at TED about smartphone dangers went viral in Europe.

Spitz had gone to court to obtain the information that his cell phone operator, Deutsche Telekom, had gathered (and kept) about his activity. The results astonished him. Over the course of six months, they had tracked his geographical location and what he was doing with his phone more than 35,000 times.

"Seen individually,” says an editor from Die Zeit,“the pieces of data are mostly inconsequential and harmless. But taken together, they provide what investigators call a profile–a clear picture of a person’s habits and preferences, and indeed, of his or her life."

Inexplicably, Spitz failed to suggest a solution. The solution is to dump the smartphone and get a pager and a dumbphone—which you seldom turn on. Either that, or get a John’s Phone or a Zfone.


  1. I knew there was more than meets the eye with my phone, I thought after reading your post and looking into these alternatives you provided that your claim might have been a little harsh, until I watched the video clip and wow, I am extremely happy I did.
    Thank you, Mark.

  2. Or don't get a cell phone at all. Sadly, payphones are a rarity now days, and if you even find one, chances are they have been vandalized. Thanks for the heads up, "JJ"! :)


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