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Virginia Tech Hacks Android to Location Based Device Erase

If you are a nurse working in a hospital, there are so many cases where you need to have an access to confidential or sensitive data such as the patient’s records in order to perform your duties efficiently. However, when you receive the sensitive records on your phone or tablet, these will still remain on your device even after the day is over. This is where the problem about confidentiality enters. Who wants their records to be flaunted and accessed by strangers?

Virginia Tech is brilliant, and they seem to have devised of a way that could offer a viable solution to the confidentiality problem. The system allows mobile phones to access data in a specific physical location and then erases the data from the phone when the person leaves the area.

The team that designed the system modified the existing Android mobile OS to create the system, and of course, they are not willing to divulge how they modified it. Aside from the data wiping capability, the system can also be used to disable certain phone functions in a specific area. For example, preventing photos from being taken in a “no picture” zone, or blocking texts in the classroom.

Military applications are also possible with the system. Military officials could use their phones to have access to classified information without worrying about the phone being stolen or lost once they leave their base. Spies who are planning to take snap shots or access the stolen device won’t be able to do it. Because it will be erased based on the location of the device. No word on when this system will be available for general use.

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3RGQVSDUYDSAH5Y7ASRMEQB7EM LiadsOlderBrother

    “and of course, no one is willing to divulge how they modified it”

    Divulge – wrong word.
    “No one” and “they” – wrong plurality shift.

    In short, they noticed an illiterate blogger and closed the door.

    Don’t worry.  They don’t have to share the source code if they are copyrighting their work under the Apache license.  That makes their invention secure from idiots who write illiterate blogs.


  • Anonymous

    I have Tasker on my phone it does the same thing, but it is nice to know that VT discovered Tasker.

    • http://twitter.com/AngstKeiner AngstKeiner

      Yeah, no . . . .

      Tasker is of a different breed.   Tasker automates stuff based on profiles or pre-determined scenarios that you set.

      This, if I understand correctly, does the same types of things based on “Location” or did you not read that.  This would be closer to Blackberry policy set up by an IT Administrator based off of current company policy/locale/location.

      Not even close to the same thing.

    • Anonymous

      Tasker is perfectly capable for location based profiles. I use this to automatically turn on/off wifi based on my location.

    • Anonymous

      Tasker is perfectly capable for location based profiles. I use this to automatically turn on/off wifi based on my location.

    • Anonymous

      lol Tasker is better at least it isn’t claiming to do something it can’t.  They tried to solve a hardware issue with software.  They also didn’t ‘hack’ Android.  Android is an open platform, its whole purpose is to be reworked.  

      A. This is a spelled out concept in Neil Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon from 20 years ago.
      B. LOLOLOL: “Virginia Tech researchers even suggest it could be used to prevent students from texting during classes.” (No, it won’t)
      C. #IWIN http://difrwear.com/