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Method and System to leverage Contact Information Details to hide / encrypt Smart Phone data. Disclosure Number: IPCOM000238872D
Publication Date: 2014-Sep-23
Document File: 6 page(s) / 96K

Publishing Venue

The Prior Art Database


This publication aims to provide better privacy and user convenience via an automated mechanism of associating smartphone data with contacts or contacts groups – information which is already present in smartphones. The main points covered by this document are: 1. Associating a contact or a contact group with sensitive data on the smartphone 2. The use of various attributes belonging to the contact (their photograph, email, and so on) to identify data related to the contact, and hiding and/or encrypting it 3. A discussion of APIs for mobile apps so that apps can comply with the proposed contact based security 4. Use of various authentication mechanisms including biometrics to unhide / decrypt data for legitimate users without cumbersome authorization to access the data 5. Use of retina scan / face detection to automatically trigger hide /encrypt contact data from unauthorized users.

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Page 01 of 6

Method and System to leverage Contact Information Details to hide / encrypt Smart Phone data.


Smartphones have a list of contacts containing information about individuals like their phone numbers, avatars, email addresses, relationship to user at hand, and other social networking site ids like Facebook, and so on.

In the same device, a user can store data related to a contact or result of an interaction with a contact. For example, SMSes, pictures, voice recordings, videos, call logs, chats, emails, and so on.

Smartphones need to have a feature to hide/encrypt data due to privacy reasons. However, hiding / encrypting all data will be overkill from a user's convenience perspective, and there needs to be means to be selective in the hiding or encryption.

Current scenario:

At present there are manual solutions available or proposed to hide data based on individual or group by a manual process of selecting individual / group and manually selecting data related to the individual /group to hide or encrypt. This can be cumbersome as data volume and user volume keep growing in smartphone storage.

Drawbacks of know solution:

1. Time consuming

2. Difficult to maintain

3. Potential security issues


  Contact information in typical smartphone contains following information:
1. Contact number
2. Contact name
3. E mail id
4. Photos
5. Social networking ids, and so on

A contact's voice print can also be stored in order detect audio material related to that contact.

Figure 1.


Page 02 of 6

Smartphone data can be associated with various details belonging to a contact.

As described in diagram below, the user can select the target contact names and the kind of data they want to hide / encrypt.

Figure 2.


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   On selection of users and category of data the proposed solution will try to access and hide / encrypt data as described below: 1. For native phone data like SMSes and call logs, the proposed software will interact with smart phone OS to get SMS and Call logs details for the designated users and will try to hide / encrypt only that relevant data inside the phone memory or SIM card.

2. For more complicated native data like photos/videos, based on photo in the contact information, the proposed software will try to scan these native files and use face detection APIs to identify relevance to the user and if face detection result is positive then will hide / encrypt those photos /videos.

On similar lines, hiding or encryption policies can be applied all contacts belonging to a particular group, as shown below in figure 3.

Figure 3.


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Additionally, apart from native data in order to hide/ encrypt data in various mobile apps, proposed apps to expose API that will take as input contact information (which can be contact number like for Whats App, email id like for Gmail app, social networking site id like FaceBook App etc, whatever is relevant to that app in the contact information object) and hide/encrypt flag. Bas...