Will We be Signing Contracts Over the Phone in the Near Future?


Imagine being able to conduct business over the phone that you would normally have to meet in person or fill out applications for, i.e. applying for mortgages, loans, credit cards, etc. etc. New technology from Frauenhofer SIT (Secure Information Technology), a German research organization, may soon make that possible.

IP telephony has become the standard in telecommunications and most telephone service providers now use Voice over IP (VoIP) technology. Like any other technology, security is always a concern, and VoIP is no different. Researchers at Frauenhofer have developed software that basically acts as a digital signature, providing for legally binding archiving of any phone calls over the internet.

The software, called VoIPS, would work by storing the recorded conversation in intervals. The data would be transmitted in a packet that would be "signed" with the corresponding metadata. Each interval would also receive an encoded "stamp" to make sure everything is kept in order. Altering anything in any interval would be detected.

In theory, VoIPS could be applied to many situations outside of phone calls. Basically any data that you did not want to be tampered with or wanted to make sure was legally admissible or binding could be recorded with VoIPS. It could be employed in police cars, banks, courtrooms, business meetings and so on.

The VoIPS software will be demonstrated at this year's GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

[via Science Daily]