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Untraceability of mobile Internet users

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Carlos Molina-Jimenez, Emeritus Professor Lindsay MarshallORCiD



Current mobile telecommunications providers conceal the records gathered about their subscribers from other subscribers and non--subscribers but not from the mobile telecommunications providers themselves. Thanks to the availability of these records, mobile telecommunications providers can easily trace their subscribers and learn about their habits, movements and whereabout. This means that the subscribers' right to individual privacy is not fully observed. We believe that this problem is caused by the use of a centralized billing system and the use of permanent, personal and universal numbers which are used for incoming and outgoing calls and is hard--wired to the mobile internet devices. In this paper, we argue that a centralized single bill and the use of a universal personal number are not convenient for several applications. We suggest a flexible billing system and the use of mobile internet devices provided with the traditional personal and universal number, and with a mechanism for negotiating a random, impersonal, temporary number. The flexible billing system allows the user to pay locally for the services while the random, impersonal, temporary number is used for outgoing, anonymous calls, whenever the user wishes to access a service without taking the risk of being traced and having his or her right to individual privacy compromised.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Molina-Jimenez C, Marshall LF

Publication type: Report

Publication status: Published

Series Title:

Type: Technical Report

Year: 2001

Pages: 13

Print publication date: 01/01/2001

Source Publication Date: 2001

Report Number: CS-TR-742

Institution: School of Computing Science, University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Place Published: Newcastle upon Tyne