times change: mobile phone and my personal data

Week 24, 2012
Joensuu, Finland

When I was at the serious game workshop at Nordic DiGRA I realized I lost my mobile phone. I wanted to record something from the workshop and I could not to do it because I did not find my phone. Then, I started to think when and where I used my phone the last time and I realized:  I left my phone on the train. Auch!

My brain then started to spin in reference of what I have lost. Firstly came to my mind a couple of interviews I haven’t backed up, some new photos. The rest of the information I could recover (notes, phone numbers and most of the photos) because I had backed up, but still I feel uncomfortable thinking that an unknown person will have access to my personal data. Finally came the idea of the money, an expense not planned to have.

In the first workshop’s break I ran to the VR office and asked for help.  They offered me a phone number for lost items  (löytötavaratoimisto) but remember in Finland there are not public phones…..  Another approach was that a friend call to my mobile phone and if someone answers maybe I could recover it. However, since I have my friends’ phone numbers recorded in my mobile phone, I have no idea of their phone numbers by heart and I do not have a phone book with me neither. Of course digital backup of my phone is not traveling with me.

My solution: email. I still have my laptop with me. So, next was to get Internet access and I emailed Mikko and he helped me. Later I got an email from Eeva, because the personnel from the VR called her about my phone. Apparently, I will recover my phone!!! I am impressed about it!!! 🙂 and I am looking forward to have it back 😉

However the event let me thinking about my personal data. I have hear – read – discuss about security issues of personal data in reference to social networks. But now my thoughts go to a more simple device, just my mobile phone.  I do not connect to internet and social networks on my phone then that part is “safe” but still there is certain data exposure on my phone just because I use a  smartphone  beyond calling and sending SMS.

Things are changing fast. In the late 90’s I wouldn’t have imagine myself looking for my mobile phone via email. Still public phone boxes were surround me. I could call friends easily, with or without mobile phones because I had a physical agenda and some numbers I knew them by heart. My mobile phone did not have much extra information about myself.

Now the situation has changed and I haven’t though thoughtfully on this. I start to wonder if actually I am letting myself to be vulnerable by depending blindly on my mobile phone. Perhaps as times change it might be wise to think a bit about this and also change. The main question is how  and what do I want to change about this topic?




Photo source here


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.