Do you know Ud they do with the information that your child sends this SMS?

recall a story of as when my spouse and my brother-in-law were small, one day became a costly phone account home. The reason for the excessive value? Someone constantly calling the 117 (a number in Bogota where a voice gave the exact time). When my mother asked who was that my brother-in-law, in just 7 years, called it confessed that it was he who called because on the other side of the line had “a witch” which spoke to him. 

I remembered the story because last week my daughter told me that their [email protected] of the school there is a fashion game: send a message to the 256-22 to receive a sentence of what the future holds. It caught my attention so I tried it.

The “witch” today is in the SMS Service (but this is dangerous)

this is what I found:

first, that children who use the system don’t understand is that they are sending an SMS (not a free WhatsApp or iMessage message) and that each message sent costs CoP$ 4.616 + VAT (in Mexico, each message is worth Mx$ 15) (, in the United Kingdom £2.50 and so on).

Second, that not only pay with silver for using the service, but they do it with your personal information. To gain access to the service is necessary to your full name and city (capital letters are not mine but on the terms and conditions of service page), which are complemented by your phone number. 

Third, AskBongo (so called service) is masked as a service of entertainment but in fact your business is to sell information collected from those who use the service to third parties (and say it clearly and openly in your privacy policy):

1. What personal information do we collect? 
The type of information that we collect and store includes, but is not limited to, your name, addresses, contact details, occupation and other information that will help us to conduct our business, provide and market our services and comply with our legal obligations. Through the use of Bongo or providing such information to Bongo in another way you accept the gathering of this information.
2. How do we collect personal information?
We usually collect personal information through forms filled out by people, encounters, interviews, business cards, phone conversations and a third. We collect personal information from the Web site through the receipt of subscription requests and emails and the use of cookies. We may also use third parties to analyze the traffic on the Web site, which can involve the use of cookies.
3 What is the personal information used?
We may use and disclose your personal information for the reasons for which it is collected, for reasonably expected secondary purposes that relate with the main reasons and in other circumstances authorized by the Privacy Act.
In general, we use and disclose the personal information for the following reasons:
• conduct our business;
• provide and promote our services;
• contact you;
• protect intellectual property;
• comply with our legal obligations; and
• help us manage and improve the services we provide.
4. do we disclose the personal information we collect to whom?
We may disclose the personal information we collect to related legal persons as well as these are defined in the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).

Fourth, no one knows who are customers of AskBongo and therefore that information provided by the user on a voluntary basis can be then used for anything; Yes, may be for marketing but also for purposes few lawful (and even to supplant the identity of people who naively handed over their data). 

And here is where I would like to raise a voice of warning to all parents/mothers of children who use the system: there is to teach them that one must treat your personal information as if it were cash. What is it that needs a hacker to steal? First are our personal data: full name, email and phone number (AskBongo raises 3-2 in the first interaction, but in subsequent messages calls the rest). 

Hence forth cybercriminals will use mechanisms of social engineering and malware to try to get keys and PIN access with which may violate emails, accounts of social media and instant messaging to then go to banking systems and to kidnap the information from electronic devices and systems online of their victims. 

But that is not all. With the data provided by the child already they can mislead them easily, for example with the notorious call millionaire. At the end and, through that same system of SMSs can find, in addition to the data which already gave the child, name of parents, address, school where they study and its users from email or social networks. 

Personal information is not a game for children and services like AskBongo, with the lack of clarity that offers activities and the way they are promoting the use of its platform among the unwary are a danger to the safety of persons. 

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