It is normal to feel a little anxious when your phone is in hands other than your own. It is well known that our phones hold our dearest secrets but a group of scientists has discovered that phones can tell much more about you than you think.
Turns out that the filth on our phones can reveal in-depth information about our lifestyles. Yes, the layer of grease on your phone can tell us about your habits and how you live your life.
Scientists were able to develop ‘lifestyle sketches’ by swabbing the gunk off people’s phones. Amina Bouslimani who is part of the project claims, “by analyzing the molecules they’ve left behind on their phones, we could tell if a person is likely female, uses high-end cosmetics, dyes her hair, drinks coffee, prefers beer over wine, likes spicy food, is being treated for depression, wears sunscreen and bug spray — and therefore likely spends a lot of time outdoors — all kinds of things,”. All of which is shockingly specific but how exactly will it be used?
The usage of this profiling technique is vague. How helpful is it really to know what brand of makeup someone is wearing or what prescription pills they are currently on? It surely will not be picked up by government and security agencies anytime soon and it definitely will not be replacing DNA analysis. Social Media and what is actually present in your phone is much more telling of your lifestyle and social interactions.
As impressive as it is to be able to obtain information about one’s lifestyle through a swab of the phone, billions of molecules will need to be analyzed before an actual database can be created. At the moment this profiling technique would need to be shelved as no laboratory would be willing to invest in it.