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System and method for maintaining privacy while transfering contact information and telephone numbers between mobile devices or electronic address books

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000229455D
Publication Date: 2013-Jul-31
Document File: 2 page(s) / 18K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a system and method to provide temporarily masked contact information, so that a user does not have to reveal an actual private number to an unfamiliar individual. The system assigns a unique number to each contact and provides methods to reach out and replace the temporary number with a permanent number after the contact has become trusted. Methods to determine that trust are described as well as methods to revoke the temporary number by breaking the association between the temporary and permanent numbers.

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System and method for maintaining privacy while transfering contact information and telephone numbers between mobile devices or electronic address books

It is common for people to ask for telephone numbers, especially when meeting new acquaintances. In some instances, a user might not be comfortable sharing contact information with an unfamiliar person. Having a temporary number provides a level of screening between users not previously available.

The invention is a system and method to provide temporary telephone contact information, so that a user does not have to immediately reveal an actual private number. With this invention, when an unfamiliar person asks the user for a telephone

number, the user can provide one of several temporary telephone numbers. If one of these telephone numbers becomes misused, it can easily be revoked and disassociated with the original number. The system maintains a mapping of which temporary numbers are given out to which contacts and performs local reverse look-ups in order to identify incoming callers with the original contact to which that number was associated.

The core novel contribution is a method that allows the user to identify a non-secure exchange or dispersal of contact information. The system intercepts the user's contact phone number (or email, etc.) with a temporary unique replacement. The system automatically creates a new contact entry for the recipient and associates that entry

with the established temporary phone number. The system performs a reverse lookup on incoming phone numbers and compares the caller identification information (id) with

the temporary number assignment. If no caller id exists or the incoming caller id and phone number do not match, then the system notifies the user (i.e., user assigned to that incoming number). The system can then revoke the association between a temporary phone number and the original phone number.

At a high level, the process works as follows:

1. The telephone company provides a permanent telephone number, per current processes as

2. The telephone company, or another agency, provides one or more temporary telephone numbers

3. The user gives the temporary telephone numbers to individuals when it is undesirable to reveal the permanent telephone number

4. When a temporary telephone numbers is misused, the owner can ask that the number be replaced at the agency's website

Method 1: How to manage alias numbers


1. Log into telephone account

2. Go to account page and view the list of alias number(s) assigned to the regular user account

3. From this screen the user is able to add, delete, or...