Bluetooth Spam Assaults Moviegoers – Say Hello to Bluetooth Promotional Kiosks and Bluespam
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If you go to a movie in New York, San Francisco or Los Angeles, that vibration you feel in your pocket may not be someone trying to pick your pocket (or, hey, something else) but may be a bluetooth promotional kiosk in the movie lobby sending something to your cell phone via bluetooth. Bluespam.

Being tested in the three cities, the kiosks search out bluetooth-enabled phones and send them a message, telling the movie-goer that they can come to the kiosk and download free promotional trailers, ringtones, and wallpaper for their phone.


For example, people attending a showing of “Kingdom of Heaven” were offered a ringtone which announced “Protect the stones!”

Others, attending “Mr. and Mrs. Smith”, were offered cellphone wallpaper of either Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie.

Explains Grant Wakelin, CEO of WideRay, developers of the bluetooth promotional kiosk, “Everyone in the entertainment space is looking for creative new ways to access consumers.” (Which is of course exactly what Tivo charging advertisers to help them attract Tivo customers’ eyes is all about.)

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But you know what? This kind of access comes with a price tag just like all other kinds of spam. And in that regard, while perhaps novel, Bluespam is no different than any other kind of spam. My time is worth more than the ‘cost’ of a free ringtone, not to mention the drain on my battery.

Which is why our bluetooth-enabled cell phones are set firmly to “not discoverable”.

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The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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3 thoughts on “Bluetooth Spam Assaults Moviegoers – Say Hello to Bluetooth Promotional Kiosks and Bluespam
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  1. We’re having the same debate with our Happy Packages Research Project.

    http://tinyurl.com/3qljo3

    Is it spamming or can we all carry on?

    DanC – Thought Den

  2. “not discoverable” won’t help you much. Bluetooth addresses are 7-byte sequences, where the first 3 bytes are a manufacturer ID. If you’re trying to spam cellphones, you can just select all the known phone manufacturer IDs, and then easily (and quickly) brute-force the last 4 bytes.

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