Locative Lab

researching locative media

Cameraphones disabled over the air, Industrial espionage made more difficult

A SYSTEM which will
enable network operators to disable the camera function inside mobile
handsets has been installed by leading operators in both Europe and
North America.

The software is being supplied to both operators and leading telecoms
integrators by software house, Mformation. Clients already include
Telefonica, Vodafone, T-Mobile, Cingular and Rogers.

Basically, the system can turn off (or turn on) any application which
runs inside the handset. This includes the camera function as well as
picture messaging (MMS), Bluetooth and WiFi.

One major benefit for an organisation where photos snatched by a
cameraphone can be commercially dangerous, is that regular employees
will no longer have to surrender their handsets on entering a building.

The mobile network will sense the employee’s location and then
temporarily disable the camera’s functionality via an OTA
(Over-The-Air) message.

The reverse is also true. Corporations will wish to enable (and
correctly configure) the WiFi capability within cellular handsets. So –
once inside a building – an employee’s handset can automatically be
switched to VoIP rather than a regular cellular call.

The software can drill deep into a handset’s capabilities – even going
as far as blocking certain kinds of content. Normally, this function
would be used to block users from downloading games onto their work

But it could conceivably extend so far as blocking employees from
downloading the latest cricket scores – so that they don’t waste
valuable company time.



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Cityscape LocativeLab.org is Ronald Lenz's research website on locative & mobile media. This is mostly an archive of blogposts I find inspiring and interesting and an overview of my work. I'm a strategist, technologist and researcher in the field of Location-Based Mobile Services and work at Waag Society, a medialab in Amsterdam, The Netherlands where I head the Locative Media research program and at 7scenes, a platform for GPS games and tours as creative director. Picture 4 Find me at Twitter, LinkedIn or via ronald [at] waag [dot] org.

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