@jeff @allison @adidal @newt Cellphone infrastructure is far more advanced than cable based infrastructure in much of Africa, apparently, which (coupled with the continent's proud history as an international testing ground for everything from weapons to pharmaceuticals) goes a long way to explaining why this nightmarish idea is being trialled in Kenya.


> #Cellphone infrastructure is far more advanced than cable based infrastructure in much of #Africa, apparently

Not apparently, I can confirm that is indeed the case.

Mobile phones have easily done more for Africa's #economic development than anything else in the last 100 years.

@allison @adidal @jeff @newt

@allison @adidal @newt Literally noboby in their right mind would 5 star an app like this.
@adidal @allison @newt and all but one of the 5 star reviews are hidden/don't have words on them. looks like safaricom or whoever is trying desperately to not look shady

@newt @adidal if practical house arrest by means of a smartphone is a thing, I assume it's not

@amiloradovsky @newt @adidal XDA Developers has an article about it:


The scenario they describe is: You finance your phone and when you stop paying your rates, the "actual device owner" (financie) can lock it.

It's still stupid.

@newt @adidal from HN
> People who are not from these countries (Kenya etc.) might not know that the following are already true—
> [1] Many people buy phones on loans, because even cheap phones are quite expensive for the average Kenyan.
> [2] These phone companies _already_ use device policy based apps to control usage for those who have not paid. The difference is that these apps are actually predatory, they are free to siphon off data and what not, and have the usual shadiness that you expect from apps made by relatively random corps who care way less about user privacy than big cos.
> What this solution seems to be doing is providing a way to enforce the device lock policy at the OS level that actually lessens the vice-grip that these companies have on the user's phones and limits the power of the company to only block the phone from use, as opposed to the earlier model where they could do whatever the fuck they wanted on the device using their installed software.
So it is not as outrageous as it originally seems.
@MisakaMikoto @newt @adidal The fact that they can even do this reduced version is a fucking affront to human dignity though

@adidal what the actual f**k
I shouldn't be surprised by this behaviour from google but I still am. I hope this convinces more people to boycott google. #DontConsentToDystopia #deletegoogle

@mangeurdenuage @adidal that headline is factually incorrect though, devices „bought” on credit which you fail to pay off are not exactly „yours”. The trend is concerning and this should be handled by courts though. Then again, >Kenya.

@adidal blah blah blah the trend for the future of tech is that companies don't want you to own anything blah blah blah

@adidal they've come a long way from "don't be evil"

@adidal I don't see how this is worse than the carrier just shutting you off. That's what happens now. This is at least more granular.

Nothing new is happening here other than new levels of being shut off. In the past they just shut the service off entirely.


The difference is that now they can be shut down by:

1. The mobile operator
2. The device's lessor

The risk is the ability of 2 to shut you down for *any* alleged debts, whether related to your device or not.

One word: #rooting


@adidal is this only for payments for your phone or for payments on everything?

@adidal once we rented an apartment where the previous tenants failed to pay for gas on time, which resulted in a card-operated gas meter installed there. It was very inconvenient to say the least, but Google doing this app is on par with HP inventing "rented ink"...

@adidal @dredmorbius That is literally how China controls its population - they turn off the payment apps in your phone if you have open traffic tickets or -say- they need everybody in a city off the streets.

It's very effective, since many services in China expect payment through those apps, so once your phone is blocked you WILL comply.

@tsturm @dredmorbius oh ikr. I had a bunch of chinese friends during my stay in germany. as soon as they started to talk about home politics, they all shut down their phones. very wise if u ask me.

@tsturm @adidal @dredmorbius do you have links about china locking payment by phone for owners not paying fines?

@adidal Sad thing is: Can't tell if this is a joke or not.

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