A very interesting article came out today on the SecurityFocus web site talking about Bluetooth security. More interesting than the security portions was the discussion of privacy concerns with the devices.
For example, Bluetooth signals, like GPS and other devices, can be triangulated using some fairly basic equipment. Buy using some 2.4GHz amplifiers and a standard Bluetooth Dongle you can achieve connection ranges of between 500m and 1.5km. And since most Bluetooth devices allow you to see their unique IDs (even if they don’t let you access the services on the device), you can fairly easily track the devices.
And all of *that* is pretty whoop-de-doo until you realize that more and more stuff is coming out with Bluetooth. Like cars. So if your car is broadcasting its unique ID, and a city wanted to, they could track you around.
Perhaps the most visible project is the LOCA (Location Oriented Critical Arts) project. They have taken a city and hooked up a series of Bluetooth receivers which watch the city and send SMS messages to Bluetooth phones like:
We are currently experiencing difficulties monitoring your position: please wave you network device in the air.
We’ve seen you pass this spot 6 times in the past 3 days
Which, while fun, is spooky at the same time.
Anyway, all in all a very interesting read.