Your cellphone can be your worst enemy



People’s favourite gadget, their mobile phone, can turn into their worst enemy because it can be used to track them or as evidence in court, the Deputy Minister of Information Communication Technology Win Mlambo told the Senate last week.

Responding to a question from Chief Gampu who wanted to know whether people can use information on cellphones as evidence in court, Mlambo said they could. The cellphone could be a very dangerous tool

“I think on the cellphones I have stated on many occasions that it is a very dangerous tool.  We love it but with technology comes danger.  Anything that emits electro-magnetic waves can precisely locate, if there is a lot of information that is kept in servers the voice and the text messages which you love very much to pass around,” he said.

“Tomorrow we are finalising the revised National Policy on ICT and in there, we state very clearly that we are trying to protect the unaware civilian about the use of these nice gadgets.  Protection of personal information against abuse because of the danger it has, including giving impeccable evidence in court about a case. 

“Firstly, it can nail a criminal, but it can also assist in many ways because it can precisely assist the judge regarding the person who will be under trial.  The information on a cell phone as I will be sending is meeting electro-magnetic waves and anybody who has the appropriate gadget can precisely locate where I will be.  If I am moving, it can trace wherever I will be going.

“I might inform this august House that during Ebola outbreak in West Africa, they used a cell phone to track a person who would have been in West Africa so that they quarantine him or her.  This was done because people were not willing to give information to the effect that they would have visited West Africa and were exposed to Ebola. 

“They used technology to track those people and when they landed in other countries, they were kindly told that they had been in West Africa through the use of technology. However, the information on cell phones can be used in court.”

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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