Secret cell phone lines can protect privacy

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by Andrew Horansky / KHOU 11 News

kvue.com

Posted on December 5, 2012 at 10:04 AM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 5 at 2:30 PM

HOUSTON --  The days of the disposable cell phone may be over. Now, there is a new app for iPhone called “Burner.”

“It gives you a secondary, additional line,” founder Greg Cohn said.

It is a line that comes with a new number and a new way to protect your privacy. Use it with a stranger you meet at a bar or a seller on Craigslist, and then simply cancel the number when you’re done.

Burner users can even choose their own area codes, which some have used when applying for jobs.

“They may not want their new employer or prospective new employer to know right away that they’re a relocation candidate,” Cohn said. “They might want to blend in with the locals.”

For many people, cell phones are now replacing landlines.

“Phone numbers are another form of identify,” Cohn said.

It may help explain why Burner was among iTunes’ top 20 paid apps when it recently debuted. It sells for $1.99, far cheaper than so-called burn phones.

Yet smart phone owner Amy Sutton is not sold.

“I think you should just say you don’t want to give someone your number,” she said.

Burner is only currently available in the U.S. and Canada. It will soon be coming to Android.

 

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