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kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the maybe-the-fbi-will-have-to-pay-royalties dept.

Privacy 176

theodp writes "US patent office documents released Thursday show that a startup named Pelago is seeking a patent covering Pay-For-Visit Advertising, which uses GPS, Bluetooth, or RFID on your mobile devices to track your travels to see if you wander into a place of business that appeared in an ad shown earlier on your cellphone, PDA, or laptop. To maximize ad revenue, phone calls are also tracked to see if you dial a number associated with an ad, and financial transactions are examined to see if you make a purchase from an advertiser. The application goes on to note that the system may be of interest to government agencies. Pelago just raised $7.4M from the likes of KPCB and Jeff Bezos."

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176 comments

no thanks (4, Insightful)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170097)

i've got to think that this will create a market for phones that wont allow this kind of thing to happen. i'd go without a cell phone before i'd let myself be tracked like that everywhere i go.

Re:no thanks (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20170149)

Your cellphone company can already track your cellphone everywhere you go.

If you don't want to be seen going somewhere then take out your battery. For added anonymity use prepaid cellphones only.

That is what the jihadis do in Palestine and Occupied Iraq.

Re:no thanks (1)

neglige (641101) | more than 6 years ago | (#20171683)

If you don't want to be seen going somewhere then take out your battery.
That is what the jihadis do in Palestine and Occupied Iraq.


I can only wish this was in the manual on how to build remotely triggered bombs:
Remove battery from mobile phone, then attach phone to trigger mechanism. Detonate bomb by calling the attached phone. Remember: do not insert the battery again, as the phone can then be located!

Re:no thanks (3, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170293)

Oh and you shouldn't use a credit, debit card or checks for any of your transactions, forget about Buying stuff online or mail order.

Back in them olden days when we went to the corner store Bob behind the counter knew what your spending habbits were and gave you options on what was new and good, and if Bob was a bit chatty half the town would know your spending habbits. We acuatlly have far more privacy per day. You are being tacked as a number and that number is rairly connected to you personally. So the whole town doesn't know your spending habbits just some guys from xyz knows that 9384123223 likes to buy keyboards, or is in a market for keyboards. Don't expect the governement to get it right if they cant realize when you put in a change of address for a new license and they will not send you notices that your registration is out of date to the new address I doubt they can figure anything else about you.

Re:no thanks (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20170479)

Oh and you shouldn't use a credit, debit card or checks for any of your transactions, forget about Buying stuff online or mail order.
And don't forget to post anonymously on slashdot!

Re:no thanks (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170687)

> We acuatlly have far more privacy per day.

No, because now we have Bob in addition to all this spook bullshit.

In the UK there are laws against `interception of communications` so it'll be interesting to see if anything turns up on my mobile phone contract giving permission to them to tell any number of shops where I am and who I'm phoning. I'd imagine that any network which doesn't go along with this might pick up a few customers.

Re:no thanks (2, Insightful)

Lockejaw (955650) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170809)

You are being tacked as a number and that number is rairly connected to you personally.
Nope, just to my shipping info... but that includes my name. Then that info is available to anyone willing to pay for it. And then the credit card company sees where all my payments go and can sell that data.
Seriously, if you want anonymity, buy stuff at a brick-and-mortar store, and pay cash. The whole town doesn't know your spending habits. There's just some guy at xyz who knows that tall skinny guy with graying hair bought a lot of cereal half an hour ago. Of course, the chance that he cares enough to remember the purchase half an hour later is slim.

Re:no thanks (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170889)

"Seriously, if you want anonymity, buy stuff at a brick-and-mortar store, and pay cash. "

I dunno.

Can't you get one use credit cards to use? Hard to trace. Set yourself up a PO box, at a place that you can send things to....where they use 'Suite' No. instead of box number, so that it looks like a street address and companies will deliver there.

Those things don't make you impossible to trace, but, should make it a bit more difficult...at least for the way they collect mass data these days.

Re:no thanks (1)

rfunches (800928) | more than 6 years ago | (#20171585)

Set yourself up a PO box, at a place that you can send things to....where they use 'Suite' No. instead of box number, so that it looks like a street address and companies will deliver there.
You need to get a PMB where the business doesn't collect your personal information. A true PO box here in the US (at an actual post office) would require providing a verifiable name and address, and you have to present two types of ID, including one with a photograph.

Re:no thanks (2, Insightful)

Mr. No Skills (591753) | more than 6 years ago | (#20171387)

Seriously, if you want anonymity, buy stuff at a brick-and-mortar store, and pay cash.

I think the point of concern with some is that even this will stop working if you carry a cell phone with you. They watch you coming in and going through the checkout line even if you pay in cash.

Re:no thanks (1)

multisync (218450) | more than 6 years ago | (#20171717)

There's just some guy at xyz who knows that tall skinny guy with graying hair bought a lot of cereal half an hour ago.


Plus a grainy, poorly-lit, black-and-white surveillance video that'll end up on America's Most Wanted.

Re:no thanks (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#20171157)

lmao.. it's also ironic that if you click on his home page, he lists where he and his family were going to be in July..

Re:no thanks (1)

iknownuttin (1099999) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170317)

i've got to think that this will create a market for phones that wont allow this kind of thing to happen.i'd go without a cell phone before i'd let myself be tracked like that everywhere i go.

That's an issue for me also. I also don't like the idea of having ads rammed down my throat when I'm searching for something. Meaning, if I'm searching for a "Joe's Coffee", I don't want Starbucks shoved onto my screen.

FTFP: The advertisement system may provide to the mobile device of the user a search result that includes an advertisement for a coffee shop.

I am also concerned that someone will figure out how to get your phone to ring with an advertisement when you're near a client. That will really piss me off! I don't want to interrupted with ads!

Patent! (1)

f00man (1056198) | more than 6 years ago | (#20171045)

Luddite tech...

After ringing up sale, clerk says, "May I ask where you heard about us?"

Holey cats!

Calls patent attorney -- It's business method!)

Re:no thanks (1)

DigitalCrackPipe (626884) | more than 6 years ago | (#20171361)

Given the recent announcement of the google ad-based cell phone, I think I know where this could get a foothold. So, for now it will be opt-in (for those who didn't want to pay for cell service), until it catches on and spy-free phones are the minority.

Minority Report (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20170099)

Next they'll be tracking me by retinal scans to see if its REALLY ME and I didn't just loan my device to a sibling, friend or child. Then it'll be cross-referenced with my credit report and my bank account to see if I can even afford it, but they won't care - they'll just offer me a new card with a limit that is just enough to cover whatever asinine product they're trying to force at me.

and first post.

Re:Minority Report (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20170663)

"and first post."

Announcing "First post" is a good way to make the intertube overlords laugh ... And since you had your cell phone turned on when you posted your announcement, they know who and where you are!

Now, would you like to buy this new "Web 2.0 Wristwatch" Mr. AC? We see that you have a need for it, and your credit balance is just enough for you to make this valuable purchase. Hurry! Supplies are limited! This offer won't last!

Can't I just have the chip implanted already? (5, Funny)

PoliTech (998983) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170113)

I really dont want to carry all those gadgets around, especially at the beach. So if you could just inject that RFID tag into my neck right here...

Re:Can't I just have the chip implanted already? (1)

Antarius (542615) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170915)

So if you could just inject that RFID tag into my neck right here...
No-can-do, sorry. You see, the RFID tags cause interference with the implants from the super-secret CIA-alien-hybrid-mutant-dolphins(withfrickinglaser s) that you already have...

Oh, sorry. That was not meant for publication.

Sudo forget that you read this

Data bill (1, Insightful)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170115)

cell phones and pda uses may end have to pay the data bill for ads that they may not even want and how many people will want to waste there battery's on Bluetooth for this?

Consumer participation required? (5, Insightful)

ricebowl (999467) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170125)

From reading the synopsis it seems that it would require the participation/consent of the mobile phone user to allow tracking. From activating bluetooth visibility, or accepting a phone with an RFID feature. It'd be interesting to see if this has any similarity to the oft-rumoured GPhone.

But why would a consumer, given the relatively low prices of cell phones, tariffs and contracts, accept this? I'm speaking from the UK but I can't imagine that US cell contracts, etc, are so prohibitively expensive that this would be an attractive form of subsidy. Especially given the potential 'government interest.'

Consumer opt-out action required (2, Insightful)

Radon360 (951529) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170529)

From reading the synopsis it seems that it would require the participation/consent of the mobile phone user to allow tracking

FWIW, this tracking is enabled by default in virtually every phone that has the capabiliity of being commercially tracked. The phone user has to recognize that it is enabled and then go through the menus to turn it off. Not a hard thing to do, but like most things, something that is largely overlooked by the masses.

Re:Consumer participation required? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170593)

For the time being it's voluntarily/consent based. How long 'til blocking ads becomes illegal because it deprives those pages dependent on ad income from revenue, and how long 'til you must not block your phone to inform the ad company how well their ads work because of the need of transparency in business?

Impossible? You might remember the motion that it should be illegal to FF through ads in movies. And you might have noticed that some DVD players don't let you skip ads, previews and other nuisances.

Re:Consumer participation required? (2, Informative)

BUL2294 (1081735) | more than 6 years ago | (#20171119)

And you might have noticed that some DVD players don't let you skip ads, previews and other nuisances.
It's not that the DVD players don't let you skip these nuisances, it's that the chapter/title/whatever tells the DVD player to not let you skip them. There are valid reasons why you shouldn't be allowed to skip chapters on some DVDs (i.e. a DVD-video based game played on your TV, or an educational DVD that tests you and your answers determine the next question, etc.) but, IMHO, no DVD movie that you paid $$$ for has a valid reason for not allowing you to skip chapters. The studios are just abusing the system and pissing off their customers... (Hence the popularity of DVD movie backup software that lets you rip the feature film only...)

Re:Consumer participation required? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20171273)

Those are valid reasons for me not being allowed to do something I want with the hardware I own? Sorry, but they are not. I can see that those are functions that you would want in a machine used for the purpose of testing, but when the day ends, the owner of the box has to have the right to make it do whatever he wants (within the reasonable limits of the machine, no reason to demand a latte from your DVD player...).

Generally, the owner and only the owner of the machine has to dictate what features the machine is capable of are to be turned on or off. Certainly not the creator of content. If the hardware does not allow me, its owner, to override the wishes of the content manufacturer, it is not the hardware I want. If that means I can't get certain hardware at all, so be it. Ok. I will live without HDDVD.

Re:Consumer participation required? (1)

BUL2294 (1081735) | more than 6 years ago | (#20171769)

If the hardware does not allow me, its owner, to override the wishes of the content manufacturer, it is not the hardware I want.
You'll find no argument from me... However, I have yet to come across a DVD player that overrides the chapter/title/whatever's ban on skipping or seeking. Does that mean you'll go back to VHS? No bans there. Hell, if a VHS tape has an ad or a preview at the beginning, you could even open up the tape, cut out the "offending" content, and splice the tape back together. Now you can claim to control the content. But alas, I doubt you would go thru all that effort...

So you won't be going to HD-DVD. But according to your argument, you shouldn't even be using DVDs...

Re:Consumer participation required? (1)

Lockejaw (955650) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170993)

But why would a consumer, given the relatively low prices of cell phones, tariffs and contracts, accept this?
If nobody offers plans without this, the only way to get a cell plan is to accept this.

Re:Consumer participation required? (2, Insightful)

Pragmatix (688158) | more than 6 years ago | (#20171541)

Why would someone participate in this?

Let's say you went to the mall, and you were looking for some Christmas gifts. You phone has a neat little feature called 'Instant Discount'. If you turn it on while shopping, it will feed you coupons and specials from the various stores as you walk around. So you pass a Banana Republic and see a coupon for 25$ off on a pair of pants.

You duck in, get some pants, save some cash. The store gets a sale they might not have had. Whoever runs the ad service gets a little piece of the sale. Everyone is happy.

I have no problem with this kind of feature, as long as you can turn it on or off.

Re:Consumer participation required? (1)

Ciarang (967337) | more than 6 years ago | (#20171705)

You didn't save any cash, you spent some that you didn't intend to spend.

Re:Consumer participation required? (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 6 years ago | (#20171747)

I suspect it's aimed at kids. Hey kids, here's a free cell phone!

So basically... (2, Insightful)

shakingbrave (1136495) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170135)

They are going to track who I call, where I go, and what I buy...while having all of this linked to personally identifying information. Who in their right mind would subscribe to such a service? The privacy implications are mind boggling...if the police can subpena this information or the government can "silently" access it, say goodbye to the American way of life...

Re:So basically... (5, Insightful)

DogDude (805747) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170211)

The privacy implications are mind boggling

The privacy implications of a phone that reports back to ad agencies isn't nearly as mind boggling as the Fed's new law that says all US/international communications can be bugged with no search warrant needed. The American way of life is already long gone. The problem is that nobody seems to care.

Re:So basically... (2, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170225)

if the police can subpena this information or the government can "silently" access it, say goodbye to the American way of life...
I thought that WAS the American way of life. We are living in a post-9/11 world, after all.

Re:So basically... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20170237)

Yeah but they give you free stuff in exchange!

Re:So basically... (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170359)

Personally I'm more worried about what various companies will do with the info, than the government.

Also, think about the false positives on matches - artificially inflating prcies for places using those advertisers.

I just hope capitalism "works" as it is supposed to, and this marketing idea flops, when it ends up costing more than other methods, for a similar amount of return.

Re:So basically... (2, Interesting)

ArcadeX (866171) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170509)

Not saying i'm for this in any way, but if the phone were provided free, and the add company paid for the phone / service via the adds, I could see older people on budgets, or broke teens not having a problem trading freedoms for services.

Re:So basically... (1)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170883)

Older people? I highly doubt that. As long as it's shiny and cool and can play their music wherever they go, it'll be the kids and 20-somethings that are all over this...

Re:So basically... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170629)

"Here! Free cell with your new contract! And 1000 text messages free on top of it! And that's not all, you get 100 local calls or 100 local minutes, whatever is MORE (not less. MORE!)."

"No, no need to read the fine print. It's just that you report back when you buy some crap. But hey, you don't pay for that reporting call, don't worry!"

Re:So basically... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20171565)

What is this American way of life that you talk about? We haven't heard of that in ages (7-8 years).

what a crock (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20170147)

most of the places I got to, I got to via personal recommendation.

Not to mention, that would require a corporate agency tracking my every move. I'll just put it this way:
If you don't trust the government, ostensibly supposed to be for the benefit of the people living in its juristiction, watching your every move, how the hell can you trust a corporation, ostensibly (and in practice) supposed to be for the financial and power gain of those in cahrge of the company, to keep track of you to that extent?

Re:what a crock (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20170753)

A corporation cannot arrest you (yet).

Re:what a crock (1)

superbus1929 (1069292) | more than 6 years ago | (#20171583)

Wasn't it some of these same corporations that made it so that recording was an arrestable offence now, instead of just something for civil courts?

Gasp! (3, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170151)

Companies are trying to evaulate to see if their marketing is working or not. How dare they, I want to be flooded with adds that I don't care about, vs. showing me products and or services that may help me in life, with sites offering better tracking services they could charge more per add, thus less adds per page. But that is not the slashdot way, we want NO adds but still we want our websites to run for free even though these people deticate their lives full time to this and have expenses too. Good targeting means less adds, more revenue to web sites, and less anoyances during the day. If Big Brother wants to know your spending habbits they just need a warent and pull your bank information. No need for this crazy loosy goosy stuff, that will mostly help make your life better.

Re:Gasp! (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170257)

Too many false positives is the problem:

I buy online from newegg all the time, and buy.com frequently. I got these from recommendations from friends and associates, not advertisements. In fact, I didn't see an ad for either for over a year after I started using them.

I go to the local microcenter also - not because of adds, but because I'm in a hurry, and it's where my dad went and I knew about it.

The list could be very long, but the vast majority of where I go, and what services I use are from recommendations by people. I think this method is much worse than what is already out there - a simple question when you purchase saying "where did you hear about us?"

Re:Gasp! (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170397)

But you just spreaded word of mouth adverting for thoses sites. So what you just did was give people more confidence in buying products from this site figueing that if you got a good deal so can they. And you went to the site because of word of mouth. But what about those people who told you perhaps they saw an add on favorate search tool and clicked on it. If one Add gets some attention and spreads Word of Mouth then it may be worth the false positives. Just for the sake if you bought something form X.com and they show adds to you couple times every week and someone says where did you get that its cool you may remember more clearly that you got it from X.com. Or if the next time you are looking for something you may take a look at X.com for it.

Re:Gasp! (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170525)

That logic only works if they advertised with only one agency, ever.

Otherwise there's a lot of false positives for any given agency.

Re:Gasp! (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170349)

If Big Brother wants to know your spending habbits they just need a warent and pull your bank information.

Hah, the jokes on you. The only withdrawals I make from the bank are to pay for housing/utilities/ATMs/Credit Cards. Now, if they pulled my Visa bill...

Re:Gasp! (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170425)

The joke is back to you.... Your Visa bill is processed threw a bank. It may not be the same bank wich you have your savings account but it is still a bank.

Re:Gasp! (2, Informative)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170869)

But that is not the slashdot way, we want NO adds but still we want our websites to run for free even though these people deticate their lives full time to this and have expenses too. Good targeting means less adds, more revenue to web sites, and less anoyances during the day.

Okay... here's some small tips that may help:

  • If a website or other media delivery vehicle tends to specialize (e.g. /. tends to specialize in IT and geek pr0n), you tailor your advertisements to your primary market. If I go to a 3d/CG hobbyist art website, I expect to see ads for the likes of Poser, Bryce, DAZ, etc, with maybe some low-end Maya, 3DS Max and such thrown in. I don't expect to see mortgage ads in either place. (If I do, then obviously the site owner is operating sans clue, which almost subliminally makes my opinion of the content to be a bit suspect. After all, if they can't grok their audience, then how do I know that they truly grok what they're presenting otherwise?)
  • This does not require complex GPS tracking, retina scanning, or any other such crap. It merely means that the site owners need to know their primary and secondary readership.
  • For general purpose websites (like a newspaper, say) you can use cookies based on what type of content the user reads more often than not. Again, no need to an RFID chip in someone's left ear to do that
  • Even on a mobile scale, the best way to know if an ad works is the old-fashioned way, just updated: Put a friggin' "Save X% off your purchase if you display the linked coupon page on your iPhone/Treo/etc to the server at the counter!" with some unique splotch of numbers and letters on that "coupon" can that can be punched in by the guy taking your money. See? No need to assign facial recognition software to every mobile's camera or something...

In short, there are a ton of ways to make your advertising revenue work for you (as a business) and at the same time not have to resort to some bullshit intrusion that only adds bloat and inconvenience to the user's equipment and resources.

/P

Re:Gasp! (1)

riceboy50 (631755) | more than 6 years ago | (#20171649)

with sites offering better tracking services they could charge more per add, thus less adds per page
They could reduce the number of ads per page, but that is not likely to happen. The companies I've seen will move the higher profit from each unit straight to the bottom line—and probably consider adding even more units to increase profit further.

Can you say "Minority Report" (1)

jag7720 (685739) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170161)

Reminds me of the scene where they are scanning your eyes and offering advertising or know what you bought last... "How did you like those t-shirts Mr. Johnson?" No thanks

Re:Can you say "Minority Report" (4, Insightful)

cerelib (903469) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170247)

Here is the scary thing. I think most marketing professionals saw Minority Report and said, "That's the greatest idea ever!"

Re:Can you say "Minority Report" (2, Interesting)

starglider29a (719559) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170619)

They said the same thing about the "mark of the beast". "That no man may buy or sell without..."

It is and has been a great idea for nearly 2000 years... if you can ignore the downside.

It begins (2, Funny)

MarcoG42 (1087205) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170173)

I've never been one of the people that sports a tinfoil hat, and now I can't because they'll know when I go to the store, what I bought, how much I payed for it and what I was thinking when I bought it.

Google (0, Flamebait)

tsstahl (812393) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170179)

is probably buying the company as we type.

Sounds like just the hook to make Gphone attractive to advertisers.

Now I will generate revenue for somebody (4, Funny)

crovira (10242) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170183)

without my knowledge of who, what or where, just by going to work everyday.

1. Set up a surveillance society,
2. Watch everybody all the time,
3. ???
4. Profit

Steps 1 & 2 are already happening whether we want them to or not. Its a done deal.

But the greedy little prick wants to patent it too.

God I wish I had balls that big.

Maybe it s a good thing (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 6 years ago | (#20171981)

If a single company patents it, it can sue everyone else who uses it into oblivion. Thus raising the advertising rates due to the monopoly, and reducing the number of applications actually using it.

Just another reason. . . (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170187)

not to have a cell phone. Whenever anyone asks why I don't have a phone, my standard answer is:

"Don't need one, don't want one. Besides, why would I want people to be able to track where I am?"

Re:Just another reason. . . (1)

ArcadeX (866171) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170567)

Hm. I wonder if anyone makes a phone case / carrier that's made with wire mesh or tinfoil to stop signal. That would be something I would be interested in, wouldn't use it all the time, to married to the convience of incoming calls, but I could see situations where someone wouldn't want to be tracked, or give others the ability to find them. Granted, several of the instances I am seeing are for illegal activies...

Re:Just another reason. . . (1)

theelectron (973857) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170703)

I wonder if anyone makes a phone case / carrier that's made with wire mesh or tinfoil to stop signal.
Or, you could turn your cell phone off. Depending on how paranoid you are, you could even take out the battery. ...unless my browser is filtering out the sarcasm tags, in which case I apologize.

Re:Just another reason. . . (1)

ArcadeX (866171) | more than 6 years ago | (#20171359)

or RFID on your mobile devices to track your travels
If they put that on a cel phone, pulling the battery won't help.

Re:Just another reason. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20170569)

Reminds me of the blonde joke:

I gave my blonde GF a phone on my account and she took it with her to the mall. She was on her way back to her car when I called her to ask how long she would be away, and she said to me, "How did you know I was here?"

Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20171905)

How are people able to track you?

Tinfoil Hat (1)

krgallagher (743575) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170195)

"...uses GPS, Bluetooth, or RFID on your mobile devices to track your travels to see if you wander into a place of business that appeared in an ad shown earlier on your cellphone, PDA, or laptop.

Wow! I thought big brother was a problem. Now we have to watch out for big business too.

Re:Tinfoil Hat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20170595)

Big Business bought Big Brother long ago.

This just tells me... (1)

Bullfish (858648) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170197)

that cell phone hacking will be the next big wave. Of course, this will start a whole new round of DCMA shenanigans and the chase will be on between the phone companies and their customers. Bad consumer, bad!!

Re:This just tells me... (1)

jag7720 (685739) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170255)

Uh... that is what th Neo1973 and OpenMoko is for
http://www.openmoko.org/ [openmoko.org]

Re:This just tells me... (1)

Bullfish (858648) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170693)

It is good, but it is just a peek into what I think the scene will be like in three or four years. I hope the project grows and thrives. There are hacking tools now, but they will get much better and extend across all phones.

I've got two words for you... (1)

lazycam (1007621) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170201)

Terrible idea. If it is not enough that the NSA and FBI already track the behavior of citizens..*cough*...suspected terrorist without much oversight, what happens when they add this company's technology to its set of tools to monitor our activities. Looks like I'll be moving to Canada or Greenland soon...

Re:I've got two words for you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20170715)

If the NSA added this company's technology to its set of tools to monitor our activities it would be setting itself back many decades :)

Walk-fraud (1)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170203)

1. Employees of a company all visit the ad of a competitor on their cellphones
2. They put all their cell phones in a box
3. A gopher takes the box of phones to the competitor's store, loiters for a few minutes, and comes back
4. UNprofit for the competitor as the pay-for-visit system deducts a bunch of money from the competitor's ad account

OK, its not very scalable, but it is amusing and will happen.

Re:Walk-fraud (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170811)

Ohhh... I can so see flashmobs for this. I mean, sure, flashmobs ain't really in fashion anymore, but I can smell a revival.

Minority Report the Prequel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20170285)

Paranoia, it's not just a mental deficiency, it's a way of life

The year was 2007, the patent was issued, it wasn't long before it went online and shortly after, the war...

What does the customer get out of this? (2, Interesting)

immcintosh (1089551) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170399)

Well, I guess that question wouldn't matter for a less invasive advertising platform, but what this seems to be proposing is currently impossible without the customer's explicit agreement and cooperation. So I'm wondering what they plan on giving the customer to make this ever remotely appealing?

Re:What does the customer get out of this? (1)

Renraku (518261) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170547)

Three free ringtones of your choice, some limitations apply, requires activation of special ringtone account for $40/month and minimum contract of two months.

Believe me, people will be all over it..as far as they see it, they are losing nothing but are gaining three free ringtones. All they have to do is remember to cancel their subscription to that special ringtone service after two months.

$40 in 30 days is $0 right now to most people. Its one reason everyone's so in debt.

How do they get the location data? (2, Interesting)

klingens (147173) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170421)

What allows them to access my cellphone remotely and access its GPS receiver? Why would my cellphone tell them the GPS location in the first place?
Are there really phones on the market which allow this? If so, what prevents evil terrorist(tm) to do the same as this company then? Are phonemakers terrorism supporters?!one!?eleven!

Re:How do they get the location data? (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 6 years ago | (#20171163)

Are there really phones on the market which allow this?

Sure - Disney and lots of smaller outfits have phones that do exactly that - so that parents can track their kids' whereabouts at all times, remotely.

Kinda creepy that corporations want to treat adults in the same manner, ne?

/P

"Good afternoon, Mr. Yakamoto," (2, Insightful)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170429)

let me be the first to say "Good afternoon, Mr. Yakamoto,".

http://curtismorley.com/2007/02/06/minority-report -and-mini-cooper/ [curtismorley.com]

Personalized advertising just jumped out of the cookie jar (no, get your mind off the choc chips lardy, I'm talking browsers here) and into the real world. Somehow the idea of large corporations tracking me makes me feel a great unease, we can trust them to value money over common decency and politeness.

Big Brother! OMG! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20170467)

Wow, look at all the conspiracy theorists! Sounds like Pelago wants to make some sort of new social network that ties in with consumerism.

It might be popular, widely popular, given the density of MySpace's average fanatic.

sounds great (1)

syrinx (106469) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170497)

Marketers will be able to find out just how effective their ads are. When the answer turns out to be "not at all", they'll all lose their jobs, and we'll live in an advertising-free world.

(And while I'm dreaming, I'd like a free moon pony.)

Just so you know... (1)

moosehooey (953907) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170519)

Something like 95% of patents never actually make it into production. People patent the stupidest things, just check out google patent search http://www.google.com/patents [google.com] and see all the crap that people pay good money to patent. People also patent things for other reasons besides wanting to produce the invention, such as to sell the patent, or to keep a competitor from using the invention. Just because it shows up in a patent application doesn't mean it'll be coming out in the near future. Heck, there are plenty of patents for perpetual motion machines, which stopped after the patent office started demanding a working example.

That will be the day ... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20170535)

when I stop using mobile phones ... As soon as ads are on my phone, I'm done.

And for the record, I NEVER buy/go anywhere/do anything based on an ad but only on what my needs and wants really are.
Obviously I'm not the typical consumer nor will I ever be. I actually peel all the stickers and badges off of everything
I have, laptops/computers, cars, equipment, tools, etc. I just don't like the look of all that crap.

Another software patent?! (1)

absorbr (995554) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170557)

How the hell is this patentable? You've got several technologies that already exist (USB/Wifi/GSM/RFID, etc), all tied together with software. The only thing this plan describes is using the technologies for the purposes for which they were designed -- transmitting and receiving data. The USPO is CLUELESS if this gets approved!

Neat! I can't wait (1)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170607)

Being a grumpy old git there are many businesses whose crappy advertising annoys me. With this new system i can write a script to hit all their websites 50 times a day and it will then cost them money every time i walk past their outlet. I may even go into the shop to say 'muahahahaha, pwned'

Re:Neat! I can't wait (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 6 years ago | (#20171235)

Being a grumpy old git there are many businesses whose crappy advertising annoys me. With this new system i can write a script to hit all their websites 50 times a day and it will then cost them money every time i walk past their outlet. I may even go into the shop to say 'muahahahaha, pwned'

Why stop at 50? w/ an unlimited data plan and an appetite for walking-as-exercise, I can blast out thousands of hits per minute that get read by /dev/null as I stroll around downtown... a bicycle and a portable charger can increase the damage almost exponentially.

(besides, it'd be kinda funny to watch some market-prioritied corporation actually pay someone to let me use their bathroom or something w/o buying a thing. Plus, I can use it as a guide to which stores I'd rather avoid spending money at. :) )

/P

Can I be the first to (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20170661)

Patent something that will stop this in its tracks?

My idea is a little LEAD Lined bag that will stop your phone, blackberry etc from activating this nasty invasion of privacy.
Oh sorry, that already exists. Just go out and buy one of those bags that we used to stop those pesky airport X-Rays from messing up our films when we came home from Vacation.

Seriously,
  This is one nasty proposal. I don't want all this crap. How long will it be before the spammers invade these systems so that along with the ads for your favoutite fast food you get viagra and other crap blasted at you all the time.
  No NO No No.
  Please USPTO, Throw this in the wastebin ASAP.

Stalking for fun and Profit (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20170701)

Has anyone else noticed the disturbing [to me, anyway] trend towards actions being illegal if performed by a private individual, but legally acceptable if performed by a corporation, for profit?

this sounds invasive (1)

josepha48 (13953) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170709)

it sounds to me like an invasion of privacy. They are using tech to track where you are and what you just watched or saw. This just sounds so intrusive, I think I'm going to be sick.

Re:this sounds invasive (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170909)

I think I'm going to be sick.

You just took a trip to your doctor. Would you like to buy some pharmacy online?

Re:this sounds invasive (1)

absorbr (995554) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170939)

Surely you can opt out -- unless the phone service were free, paid for instead by the advertising revenue. Otherwise, yes I'd agree with you. Also, you could always just turn your phone off until you needed it I suppose, which wouldn't work for everyone but to combat it, yes that's what I'd do.

WAAAAH Slashdotters (0, Flamebait)

DarthTeufel (751532) | more than 6 years ago | (#20170935)

Uh... would you take targeted advertising if it meant a FREE cell phone (ie GooglePhone)? The answer is yes.

Fuck this (1)

slayermet420 (1053520) | more than 6 years ago | (#20171297)

There is no god damn this should be allowed. A company tracking me through GPS and through the calls I dial, all while sending ads to me? Does anyone else see the potential for abuse, if this gets cracked, allowing stalkers to use the GPS signal to see where people go, or see who someone calls?

Wunderbar (2, Funny)

Cleon (471197) | more than 6 years ago | (#20171439)

Oh, yay. Yet another way for big business to keep track of places we go, the food we eat, the air we breathe.

It's only a matter of time before toilets start detecting our DNA in order to show us targeted ads on the the stall door while we take a shit.

Previous Work of Art Here (1)

WebbedWell (910508) | more than 6 years ago | (#20171659)

I briefly talked about some of it on my blog. Good thing I did. http://geekspeaker.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!588D13 9CAFEFE462!921.entry [live.com] I've been working on a similar system for over a year. I didn't think someone was going to patent it. I assume Google has been working on a similar method for quite some time. I have diagrams that go back for over a year when I first had the idea. I've been trying to get some folks at my company more involved but it takes forever to get my ideas moving at my company. It's pretty frustrating to see something like this get a patent on it. The reason why this is so important is so many people spend more money via their cars which means advertising could be sucked back out of the internet in the not so near future perhaps.

And in other news ... (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 6 years ago | (#20171773)

And in other news, the government has announced a program that is able to predict murders before they occur, and identifies the culprit who can be arrested before committing the crime.

"Free" ad-supported phone, anyone? (1)

dkt5 (644128) | more than 6 years ago | (#20171799)

Maybe the whole point of this is to offer the phones and service to consumers who don't value their privacy, at no (monetary) cost? Maybe all local area calls are free, and long distance can be enabled by depositing funds to pay-as-you-go.

That way, they can offer phones where the capability to track and report and snoop on the user is built in and cannot be disabled.

Some people are stupid enough to go for it - and they might also be the ones that actually buy the stuff advertised in those wonderfully helpful emails the rest of us ignore as 'spam'. :)

The NSA Has Prior Art (1)

Prototerm (762512) | more than 6 years ago | (#20171833)

The NSA, et al, have been doing this sort of tracking and collating for years. Think of it as a lost opportunity: the NSA could have been selling ads all this time!

(straightening my tinfoil hat)
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