Friday, November 23, 2007

SMS for Someone's Name, Address, Phone Number. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

One of those "what were they thinking?" moments. The Indian state of Madhya Pradesh was (emphasis on "was") allowing anyone, just anyone, to text message the registration info of a car --- and get back the name, address, and phone number of the owner. What could possibly go wrong, eh?

Well, thinking about it a little, maybe young amorous men would start texting in trying to get the information of young women. And that's exactly what happened.

The advertisement (yep, they advertised this) for the service said, "SMS us the vehicle registration number ... and get all the information - vehicle, tax and owner's details. etc." After a series of complaints, the state transport department decided to stop sending all the info --- but they still send the owner's name.

According to the department, the service was meant to help policemen quickly find out details of vehicles involved in accidents or those suspected to have been stolen or involved in a crime. I guess that unlike the U.S., they can't just find that info by radioing back to the station or checking a computer.

The information was also meant to help those purchasing second-hand vehicles by providing details of the original date of purchase, fitness certificate, taxes and fees paid. Sounds a lot like CARFAX, but with a dating service attached. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

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