You Are Your Phone

So it has begun – loans are being approved/declined based on user smartphone habits – calls/SMS, travel, social media usage, etc, can be used to fairly accurately profile a person economically and demographically. Expect this to be widely used in auto and health insurance, not to mention online shopping. I don’t believe there is actually any way to circumvent this, as you can’t spoof your IMSI to a cell tower. This is why metadata is not just metadata.

“It shows the pattern of one person’s smartphone use over a two-week period, beginning late on a Friday afternoon. Each vertical line represents a single use of the phone, the width of the line showing how long the use extended. The chart comes from a new study on phone use, published in PLOS ONE. Four UK researchers installed a usage-tracking app on the smartphones of twenty-three students and staff members at the University of Lincoln, and then examined the data after two weeks. They discovered that “a simple measure — recording when the phone is in use — can provide a vast array of information about an individual’s daily routine.”

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