Times are tough and for many that means choosing which bills to pay and which ones to run late to make sure you can still put food on the table. If a payment arrears on certain accounts meant you lost access to your cell phone, would that change the way you prioritize who you pay?
It’s a rather bleak topic of conversation, but it came about thanks to the ingenuity of a South African company called Thinkadam. The company has developed a remote device management tool that can temporarily or permanently brick an Android phone.
Born out of an idea to try to curb cell phone theft in the country and make phones essentially useless once in the hands of criminals, the company is also gaining some interest in its technology from companies who would also can use to temporarily limit someone’s access to his device if he doesn’t pay his bills, as reported by Business insider.
However, not only does it brick an entire phone, the technology can also be used to lock certain apps and features onto it. This means that companies can block functions on employees’ phones that may not be relevant to their work or classrooms can block access to cameras during school hours. There are many different scenarios that can be applied to this type of technology, which is what makes it so interesting for many companies to consider. It’s currently only available for Android phones, although the company believes the technology could be tweaked to work for Apple devices in the future (although Apple may not allow those kinds of features in its app stores).
Thinkadam is currently marketing itself to mobile network providers and financial institutions where this type of technology would be most useful and where they can build it into their respective apps. I’m sure this can also lead to many different legal issues if a business goes too far, especially around the actual ownership of someone’s device and if they actually have the legal right to block or block a phone for anything other than theft.
It’s great to see such innovative technology coming from a South African company, but at the same time a technology that can be just as dangerous if misused.
Last updated: October 26, 2020