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Bluetooth set to discoverable? Loca's watching

Chris Ziegler
05.29.07
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It's no secret that Bluetooth devices that are in discoverable mode are... well, discoverable, so we figure it was just a matter of time before an independent organization set up a massive network of transceivers to track their every move. That's exactly what the "Loca" project has managed to do in a number of environments by setting up the pictured battery / phone combo underneath an unsuspecting looking cinder block shell. By pinging nearby Bluetooth-enabled phones and logging the data, Loca can do super-creepy things like send you a text that says "You were in a flower shop and spent 30 minutes in the park; are you in love?" Ultimately, Loca's goal isn't nefarious -- in fact, it's billed largely as an art project -- but the members do point out that Loca clearly demonstrates the illusion of privacy in a modern world. Folks wanting to set up a high-tech tracker of their own can pick up the "Loca Surveillance Pack," code and blueprints for the whole shebang. Scary? Not really; the phone isn't emitting any personally identifiable information -- and again, the phone has to be in discoverable mode -- but it does serve as a bit of a wakeup call.

[Via Bluetooth Source]

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