Monday, October 8, 2007

Will Google's new Cellular phone raise privacy concerns?

Details of Google's entrance into the mobile phone industry has been revealed. Although details are limited, the highly touted phone will contain its own operating system much like Microsoft's Window Mobile.
The internet search engine giant plans to persuade wireless carriers and mobile phone makers to push phones compatible with its new software.
As an incentive, part of the cost of these phones might be funded by advertising that appears on the phone's screen telegraph
Do we really need advertising on our phones? My answer is NO! Reading the above statements led me to an article I read a while back of a 'new' company called The Pudding. is an advertising company which seeks to wed 'relevant' advertising to phone conversations. Currently if is only offered through their website, but the technology is sure to expand.
Companies like Google scan their e-mail users’ in-boxes to deliver ads related to those messages. Will people be as willing to let a company listen in on their phone conversations to do the same?
Pudding Media, a start-up based in San Jose, Calif., is introducing an Internet phone service today that will be supported by advertising related to what people are talking about in their calls.
While the calling service only works through computers for now, Mr. Maislos said he saw the potential to use it with cellphones.
The trade-off is that Pudding Media is eavesdropping on phone calls in order to display ads on the screen that are related to the conversation. Voice recognition software monitors the calls, selects ads based on what it hears and pushes the ads to the subscriber’s computer screen while he or she is still talking.
Pudding Media is working on a way to e-mail the ads and other content to the person on the other end of the call, or to show it on that person’s cellphone screen.
Something with this just doesn't seem right. For myself...I see this company merging it's technology with Google's new phone. Wiretapping at its finest.

Even more interesting is that the owners and creators of the "new technology" are former Israeli Defense Forces military intelligence officers who have created and sold tech businesses before.
Mr. Maislos founded Pudding Media with his brother, Ruben. Each had spent several years doing intelligence work for the Israeli military. Before Pudding Media, Ariel Maislos ran a broadband company called Passave, which he sold in May 2006 to PMC-Sierra, a maker of computer chips for telecommunications equipment, for $300 million. Richard Purcell, a former chief privacy officer at Microsoft, is an adviser to Pudding Media, Ariel Maislos said.
Sounds like wiretapping to me.

Same Players. Different Scandal.

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