Mobile phone numbers are a bomb

This article explains how the modern day applications that uses a mobile phone number for registration, will eventually turn into a privacy concern later on.

Nowadays most applications, be it a website or mobile based, uses phone numbers as their only means to register a user into their system. By doing so, the process of registration becomes much easier and even the authenticity of the user is taken care of, because any fraudulent user will use multiple e-mail addresses to cheat the system whereas they cannot own multiple mobile phones, as it costs money to own a phone number.

Everything seems to have been taken care of until the user decides to discontinue the application and/or the phone number.

When discontinuing the application if the user gets lazy (or forgetful) to delete the account associated with it and later on if the user give-up the mobile phone number as well then they leave a bit of their privacy to the chances for someone to get access to.

If the mobile number that was used during the registration, is bought by some stranger from the tele-operator (of-course after the grace period) and if they try to register to the same application with the phone number then by chance they will have access to all the details about the previous user that’s recorded in the backend of the application.

For example, I was using a food delivery app and I stopped using their services during the global pandemic lockdown (which lasted for almost 6 months). Meanwhile I had changed my phone number, as there was no network coverage in my native (country side) township where I had moved due to the lockdown. Now that I had lost access to my phone number, I couldn’t login to that account as well. I contacted the customer care of that appl and requested them to delete my account but there was no other option to prove that the account belonged to me. If by chance someone purchases that mobile phone number from the tele-operator then they will be able to login to the application and find my addresses, my previous food orders, my payment methods, etc.

This kind of situation is getting very common nowadays, as we are in a hurry to move to new things, leaving behind the old unnoticed or not taken care of. We get tangled with so many accounts & profiles, and hence we tend to leave traces of our details with unintended people. If this trend continues then expect anybody to knock at your door anytime with all your details; as the crowd only seems to increase day by day.

learner. seeker.