Is your phone equipped for automatic updates? Chances are in the near future it may be a stock feature on new mobiles. In the past few years we've seen some of the first worms being released for phones, including many that specifically target certain types of hardware. As people tend to trust their phones quite a bit, they tend to forget that the embedded firmware on the phones is easy manipulated – especially on the more expensive phones that run operating systems like Windows CE.
Thus, it makes perfect sense to hear that the Open Mobile Alliance
has released a standard
called the “Firmware Update Management Object”, which will let a mobile device conform to a certain set of regulations. Because 99% of mobile users could care less what software their phones run, the manufacturers have an interest in making the software easy to update on the fly, transparently to the user. In most circumstances, this is exactly the sort of thing the industry needs to protect not only the customers they serve, but themselves by reducing service calls. As always, though, it's a double edged sword. The article brings up a good point about the potential for abuse:
Assuming FUMA is used to fix instabilities and issue critical security updates then it seems unlikely anyone will mind. But operators are much more interested in having the capability to reach out and change the menus and interfaces on your phone: ensuring maximum visibility for their current promotions or premium services, and customers may find that an update too far.
We all know what happens when advertising gets out of control
. Can manufacturers be trusted to work only in the best interest of the customer?