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Camera Cell Phone Privacy

Why To Beware Of Privacy Intrusions Posed By Cell Phone Cameras

by Trace Mayer, J.D. on June 12, 2012

Reading time: 4 – 6 minutes

The issue of camera cell phone privacy is extremely important in today’s age and far-reaching. Many cell phone cameras by default and automatically reveal tremendous amounts of information such as the physical location of a picture, time, date, cell phone model, etc. Additionally, a number of phone companies and facilities along with laws and implementations have increased so much in recent times that it is often difficult to keep up on what privacy protections you have.

Begin with checking the kind of subscriber information you are providing to a company for services. Some employees and hackers have a tendency of using such private information for nefarious purposes. You might use a ghost address. A pre-paid cell phone or SIM card can greatly increase your cell phone security and privacy. A super ninja trick would be to use a pre-paid wireless service paid for with bitcoins.

Some networks give you the option of recharging your phone continuously without asking you for private information. But this habit may not be most effective if you change your pre-paid connections often in order to maintain privacy and escape notice of any miscreant. For example, you could use a Google Voice number, although anything with Google may be problematic for privacy concerns, to forward to your mobile phone number and then you could get different SIM cards every few months.

Many phone numbers are easily available in telephone directories or transactional databases. Every time you give your number to a company chances are that they are recorded, databased and archived. These numbers are vulnerable because often criminals might use the number in order to create a completely false profile with the information and is another reason to keep your phone number private. Cleaning up from identity theft can be time consuming. Additionally, if the company has no valid reason to know your phone number then you could decide not to provide one or provide one which is not actively used.

In countries like the USA it is easy to block your caller ID details. Call forwarding or call screening, a service provided by Google Voice, is another excellent option to avoid callers who will disturb you and your privacy. With Google Voice you can even block numbers. These are great ways to protect your cell phone number.

Your location is an integral way in which you can easily be tracked. Make it a point to turn off the GPS navigation system or WiFi which decreases the probability that your physical location may be tracked. Prevent your phone from being too clogged up with data. From time to time it is a good idea to get delete messages, call records, contacts, files, etc. Then should you lose your phone anyone who finds it will not be able to access as much information and therefore you will be less vulnerable to all those who are seeking to expose your privacy.

If you take pictures with your cell phone and post them online then this can expose your camera cell phone privacy because often the physical location is encoded with the picture file.  For example, the EXIF file may contain information such as when the picture was taken, what kind of phone model and if your cell phone has GPS then the coordinates.

Last but not the least, make sure that you do not stay away from your phone too long because you may never know who may access it. And, of course, password protect it!

Cell phone privacy is very difficult to attain. Protect as much of your confidential communications using your cell phone or smart phone as possible.  Check out the book How To Vanish or the Basic Privacy Guide for more tips on taking control of and protecting your privacy.

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7 comments

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Trace Mayer, J.D., holds a degree in Accounting, a law degree from California Western School of Law and studies the Austrian school of economics. He works as an entrepreneur, investor, journalist, monetary scientist and operates Run To Gold. He is a strong advocate of the freedom of speech, a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the San Diego County Bar Association. He has appeared on ABC, NBC, BNN, many radio shows and presented at many investment conferences throughout the world. This is merely one article of 41 by .
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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 MoT June 12, 2012 at 11:24 pm

Get yourself a “dumb” cell phone that doesn’t have all the bells, whistles, and chains associated with a so-called smart phone. Lets be honest here. Nobody NEEDS the damn things if they’re serious about staying off the grid. And I’ve found the simpler the device the better the call quality and the longer the battery life.

2 DayOwl June 13, 2012 at 5:10 am

A lot of companies demand a phone number from you to do business these days, and a lot of them use your phone number as their database identifier. I found when I gave my number to these folks, my nuisance call traffic increased significantly. Here is what I did: I purchased an inexpensive pre-paid phone, which I leave off 99% of the time. It costs less than $10 a month. I call it my “dead phone”. I give this number to the idiots at the registers who insist on a telephone number, as well as most other organizations that cannot seem to function without one from every customer.

The phone also comes in handy when a family member loses their phone (or service) temporarily. I find it well worth the money because it keeps a lot of unnecessary calls from my real phone.

3 Trace Mayer, J.D. June 14, 2012 at 7:42 pm

DayOwl, that is a great example of using a ‘ghost phone’. You even use a SkypeIn number and have it cost even less. Plus, you would get additional Skype benefits.

4 Rick Landman June 19, 2012 at 12:37 am

DayOwl, I have my ‘dead phone’ combined with a ‘live phone’ in my old, simple, long batterylife Nokia. I have an acccount with an online pbx provider (which is in fact offering your private telephone network). This pbx is connected with four voip providers, each with its own pstn number. pstn1: country1 only outbound calls, pstn2: country2 only inbound calls, pstn3: country2 only outbound, pstn4: country2 only inbound calls. The pbx is so configured that if I call one of the pstn’s from my cellphone I am called back by the pbx. If I make calls to country1 callers see callerid pstn1, calls to country2 callers see callerid pstn3. calls to pstn1 or pstn3 are not forwarded and just taken bij a discrete voicemail. Only calls to pstn2 and pstn4 are forwarded to my cellphone and my voip phone at home. I give my psnt2 and pstn4 number only to very close relations and make sure they use it discrete. All other contacts get my pstn1 or pstn3 number and get connected to my voicemail which I check regularly. New (potentially important) relations get my (prepaid) cellphonenumber, which I change every few months. They can reach me for the moment. But if they don’t appear to become a permanent relation they won’t be able to reach me anymore.

5 Trace Mayer, J.D. June 23, 2012 at 10:18 pm

Rick, that is a great setup you have and I am sure it really helps increase your privacy. Particularly nice with the PBX. There are ways to accomplish a similar result with Google Voice and Skype but it is not quite as private due to the middleman but is probably slightly cheaper.

6 Trace Mayer, J.D. June 23, 2012 at 10:25 pm

Rick, that is a great setup and I bet it greatly increases your privacy. Although not quite as private but probably a little cheaper is to do a similar type of setup with Google Voice and Skype.

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