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Smart phones do odd things at times
Old 09-12-2018, 04:24 AM
Slave to the Phone Slave to the Phone is offline
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Default Smart phones do odd things at times

As everyone here probably already knows, I am a food stamp worker. I work in a secure office and only speak to people over the phone unless I walk out a secured door to speak face to face with someone.

Another thing that everyone probably knows is that today is 9/11, which is considered a high risk time for another terrorist attack.

All was normal at work until a co-worker unplugged her phone from the charger, dropped it in her purse and left to go home for lunch. Even that was normal and routine. Everything that happened next...well not so much.

As it happens, when she was setting up her phone, like many people, she just agreed to everything so she could get to the next screens and use her new toy.

She activated an automatic security feature. If her power button was pressed 3 times, the response was for the phone to take a 5 second sound bite, 2 pics and her gps location, all of which were sent with SOS to the police and everyone on her plan. (Her disabled husband and her 12 year old son who was at school.)

If the phone moves after the security feature is activated, gps updates are sent to the police. (Help, my owner is being kidnapped! Follow that car!!!)

The end result was her son freaking out in class because the alerts overroad him silencing his phone, her husband calling the police, her home being searched and a whole ARMY of SWAT police invading our building. Seriously swarms of them trying to run through a cube farm with rifles up in their hands.

The only co-worker who was in the area had left for lunch a little early and was the only one alone. This co-worker is a friend and I personally know that she, like me, spends as little time at lunch. as possible eating so we can smoke as much as we can before going to work. So the other co-worker was sitting at her desk watching this happen and silently freaking out.

The co-worker up front who opened the secured door for the SWAT team is a very sensible person who didn't even think to argue with a bunch of fully geared SWAT cops before opening the door.

Nobody in the very crowded waiting room tried to leave, they were all so busy watching and taking pics to think that about what might have been happening to cause this response.

3 co-workers left and I was just coming back when the SWAT teams were swarming the building. I left as well.

My co-worker was late coming back from lunch. She thinks it will take a while to live this down. I think she will NEVER live this down.

Last edited by EricKei; 09-12-2018 at 11:46 AM. Reason: removed inappropriate references

Old 09-12-2018, 08:03 AM
AccountingDrone's Avatar
AccountingDrone AccountingDrone is offline
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Yikes ... just checked, I don't have this feature, thankfully. Though I do have my old smart phone plugged in at the downstairs stair landing, and my current phone on a lanyard and keep it on hand all the time - I am a serious fall risk person right now, the chemo has fully set the neuropathy in on both feet so my balance is hosed worse than normal. While my house in NY is wheelchair/handicap modified, the barn isn't because I was normally living in NY, and Rob in CT but my oncology team is here in CT so I can use the pharmacy at the military base and get meds at no cost to me and the stairs in the barn are not really good for setting up a stair lift [holy shit, best 2 grand I ever spent was setting up the house with a stair lift, I just wish my dad had done so 11 years ago when he had his knee replacement ... *Sigh*]
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Old 09-12-2018, 09:52 PM
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DGoddessChardonnay DGoddessChardonnay is offline
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One evening a few months ago, I got out of the car while we were out running errands after work when I went into the Chinese takeout near Wallyworld for dinner (I have cravings for Chinese every so often) and had, instead of taking my purse, stuck my debit card in my front pocket and had my phone in my back pocket

I must have accidentally hit the home button 3 times by accident when putting it back in my pocket at the counter . . . next thing I know it's ringing and it's my Dad.

I answered it after I'd got into the car and he was asking if I was okay? Yeah, I'm fine. I'm in the car with Mom and we're just leaving the Chinese place by Wallyworld on the way home.

Turned out he had been sent an SOS text from my phone and had a pic of a black screen. It hit me that the SOS feature somehow was enabled on my phone, so I explained that that's probably what it was and that I need to go back into the settings to make sure it's not turned on.

Turned out when I checked under the Settings, it was enabled. I quickly disabled that. I don't need the cops chasing me down all because a button got pushed accidentally.
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Old 09-13-2018, 03:39 AM
Slave to the Phone Slave to the Phone is offline
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While I personally think that people like you, Accounting Drone, would want that feature turned on, and I can see folks who live in bad areas might want it active, I think that there might be more instruction about its features.

OTOH, I am quite sure that if anyone of us really read everything we agreed to, we would know this stuff already. We would still be reading months after buying our latest tech toy before fully activating it, at least we would know what we were doing. Personally, I say NO to everything unless I am required to have it on my tech toys. My co-worker has now changed her settings to stop her phone from doing that, but left it active on her husband's phone because of his disability. He does know that its there, and how to activate it. It won't notify the police or her son, just her.

It is shut off on my phone, but I asked my husband to leave it on for the same reasons.

The fallout was very entertaining, though. Cell phone use is forbidden at work. Up until yesterday, if phones were seen by sups, the offender got a stern talking to. Now, all of us are supposed to have our phones sitting on our desks, lest closing the drawer it is hidden in activates the SOS thing. Working for the goberment is rather "interesting".

Old 09-16-2018, 06:35 PM
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Arcus Arcus is offline
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Utah
Posts: 437

This all got me wondering if my phone has something like this and to my surprise, it does. I know it wasn't there when I got the phone because I'm one of those weird people that checks all of the settings on a new phone. The iFruit phone I have has the "Rapidly click the sleep/wake button five times to quickly call emergency services" option. It's off by default. but I did notice something it had also added as an option. It can be set up show medical information important in an emergency from the emergency dialer without unlocking the phone. It's still up to the responder to check, but it a good thing to have set up if you chose to have the dialer turned on.
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