Status Message On Your iPhone – Good Idea Or Violation Of Privacy?

On August 24, 2013

According to a new patent registered by Apple, iPhone series mobile phones could receive support for status messages visible in the address book of friends.

Patent application entitled “Methods for determining the availability of a mobile phone user base status” describes how to use a style of status message posted on social networking and instant messaging applications to indicate the user readiness to be called. Applicable only between users who own iPhones, the system is designed to help us anticipate the availability of other user before initiating the call.

However, communicating our own status message to those who want to contact us we can reduce the number of incoming calls at inappropriate times, such as during classes or meetings, informing from advance our discussion partners that we are busy.

For the system to function between mobile phones is necessary for each iPhone to communicate with a central server responsible for synchronization status messages between devices. The information that can be communicated to the central server includes signal strength, battery life, how to set the phone (Normal, Plane or Vibration) and even the location where we are. All this information would be displayed on the party seeking to appeal, from selecting the contact from the address book.

Beyond the usefulness of these functions when used legitimately, for example between family members or business partners, the possibility that a foreign person can learn at any time details about the availability and location of another iPhone owner by selecting the contact stored in book is certainly to be avoided.