Use your own fake number


burner-app-iconBurner, an app made be Ad Hoc Labs, is an app that lets you create disposable phone numbers and hide your real phone number. Burner is a fast growing startup. According to the company, which won´t disclose its user numbers or its current revenue yet, the app has seen revenue growth for the last ten quarters (with even 78% growth in the last two quarters). Burner is also in the top grossing lists of iTunes and the Play Store. (Perez, 2015) The users of Burner, which generates its revenue from subscription fees, are able to obtain as many burner numbers as they want. The numbers can be used to
manage voice, SMS and MMS communications.

Until now it was only possible to call, text (also via WhatsApp)  and check the voice-mail of the number, but now this has all changed. Last week Burner launched connections. Connections allows the integration of Burner with a couple of third-party services like Slack, Evernote and Dropbox. (Perez, 2015). This drastically improves the number of feature. For example, users can now connect the burner number with Dropbox. This makes it possible to automatically store pictures, music and voicemails sent to the burner number. And there is more coming. Right now Burner is working on the app integration with Soundcloud, which will make it possible for users to automatically share voicemails and voiceclips.

The main reason for using a ‘burner’ number is privacy. A person can be identified based on a personal phone number. This is impossible with a burner number. It is therefore a very safe way of communicating. It can also be used to separate activities. Using multiple numbers for multiple purposes can be very convenient for people. For example, a special work related number. Work related messages now won’t pop up between personal messages.

Safe Haven for criminal activities

We all know the movies in which the bad guy uses different prepaid phones to be untraceable. The movies now get real, only we can now achieve the same goal with only one phone. The Burner application is a perfect opportunity for criminals to hide their traces. Burner already stated that it will help law enforcement agencies, but valid search warrants are required before Burner does this. This to protect the privacy of its users. So for now Burner can continue its operations.

References

Perez, S. (2015), Burner gets business-ready with auto-renewing lines, connections to Slack, Dropbox, Evernote & more, http://techcrunch.com/2015/10/08/burner-gets-business-ready-with-auto-renewing-lines-connections-to-slack-dropbox-evernote-more/, 12-10-2015

BurnerApp, 2015, http://www.burnerapp.com/ 14-10-2015

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One response to “Use your own fake number”

  1. Martin A. K. says :

    Interesting app!

    I know the same exists for emails (eg http://www.throwawaymail.com/). I wonder where the traceability of these tools ends. I am certain it is still possible to find you, eg via IP or MAC address. The questions is, can an everyday user figure how to track someones down who uses these tools? It would be interesting to know, as there are many ‘not-so-great’ use-cases for these tools. On the other side – shouldnt people have the right to stay anonymous ?

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