Friday, May 18, 2007

[USAToday] Phones studied as attack detector

This is an interesting idea, related to the Hitchhiking work we've done in the past for detecting how busy a place is, and to my Worldspotting blog entry a while back.


Homeland Security officials are looking into outfitting cellphones with detectors that would alert emergency responders to radiological isotopes, toxic chemicals and biological agents such as anthrax.

...

The Homeland Security Department says the program, called Cell-All, might work this way: Detectors would be placed in cellphones, most of which are already linked to the Global Positioning System. If a detector recorded a hit, the GPS would transmit the location and time to local emergency responders and Homeland Security's operations center.


Of course, there's the question of too many false positives, as well as the very serious privacy concerns involved, especially since there is little direct benefit to end-users.

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