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Mobile security company Lookout recently released a smartphone anti-theft app to help track down potential thieves, but in a report for The Wall Street Journal, columnist Geoffrey Fowler asks Lookout Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Kevin Mahaffey if the service violates user privacy. Theftie takes a photo of the user, but only under specific circumstances, such as logging in incorrectly three times, removing a SIM card or turning off the phone. “We want to make sure the owner of the phone is never surprised,” Mahaffey said, adding, “We are using the standard of ‘surprise,’ not ‘consent’—it is not enough to just put something into your privacy policy.” (Registration may be required to access this story.) Editor’s Note: Privacy Perspectives recently published the post, “Making the Case for Surprise Minimization.”
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