Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Smartphone As ID? I Sure Hope NOT.

This is another one of those topics that present themselves at the strangest moments. 

The short version of the story is that this woman, 23, went to a wedding in California and only brought her iPhone and her keys to the room to the wedding.  She wanted a drink and was "carded" for her ID.  Didn't have any, so the server confiscated her drink and asked the manager.  The patron showed a picture of her passport to the manager and was turned down.  The Staff there were doing their job, Molly you're an adult, you know you need your ID to drink in the US, carry it.

Now, here's the link if you want to read her rant, I'll follow up by saying why I think this is a terrible idea.  In fact, I'll do so in one word.


Whether you agree that someone should be out getting drinks at a wedding is another story, but living in Wilton Manors, I've seen my share of people, in fact I've probably seen your share too of people who have gotten drunk and are making bad decisions.  I belong to a civic organization as a Board member at Wilton Manors Main Street and we're working to help the city become a safer place by making suggestions to the city such as narrowing the drive via our Two Lane Initiative.  That way you can do stupid things like get blind drunk and have less of a chance getting hit by a car careening down Wilton Drive at 45 MPH.

And that's just Fort Lauderdale Police cutting through a street festival to their own jurisdictions like the Dunkin Donuts Shop at Five Points - TRUE STORY!

So you come to a town or a wedding and are having your good time and drink a bit too much.  After all her original post said that she was drinking at the wedding.  Being legally impaired you leave the party and stumble out into the light.

The scenerio here is pretty simple - what happens when you leave your iPhone either at the party or drop it on your way out.  Now this woman has just her keys to the room, and no ID - and now no iPhone.

Those shiny Apple products are a target.  Someone sees your phone and the probability would be that they'll pick it up.  If you're lucky it will get turned in and the bartender won't keep it.  You just may get it back.  I'm probably a little safer since I use a lower end Android phone, but it has the same capabilities she's talking about...

If not, now your phone AND YOUR ID are out in public.  You may as well have left your purse or your wallet sitting there with a sign on it saying "Empty Me, I'm Yours".

Bad idea.  But am I being too security conscious?

Within the 12 months, I personally have found a full wallet and a smartphone.  Ok the phone was a Blackberry and nobody seems to want those these days, but both got turned into the Police Station at Wilton Manors City Hall.  Apparently I am still honest.

Not everyone is.  My earliest dog walk at 6AM is one where I see the homeless people come up from Fort Lauderdale and patrol the parking lot.  They're looking for your wallet or your smartphone.  They've got to eat too, so don't expect to get your gear back.

Or your ID.

If I see it, I'll send it to City Hall.  They're good people there, you'll get it back.  Not everyone will be that fortunate.

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