Grime on your phone can reveal who you are


Scientists are able to build the profile of a person based on the filth left behind on their
smartphone It’s amazing what your phone can reveal about who you are. Traces of skin, oil and grime left on your phone can reveal a lot about your lifestyle, and may someday
serve as a “fingerprint” in criminal investigations, researchers said on Monday.
The study involved 39 volunteers, who allowed scientists to swab their smart phones – and right hands – in several places. Researchers found a bounty of chemical information left behind on the devices. These included anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal skin creams, hair loss treatments, anti-depressants and eye drops, according to the study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
They also found food molecules from citrus, caffeine, herbs and spices. Sunscreen ingredients and mosquito repellant were detected months after they had last been used by the phone owners. Study co-author, Amina Bouslimani, of the University of California,
San Diego, said, “By analysing the molecules they’ve left behind on their phones, we could tell if a person is likely female, uses high-end cosmetics, dyes her hair, drinks coffee … likes spicy food, is being treated for depression, wears sunscreen and bug spray – and therefore likely spends a lot of time outdoors – all kinds of things.
“This is the kind of information that could help an investigator narrow down the search for an object’s owner.” Other applications could include criminal profiling, airport screening, medication adherence monitoring, and environmental exposure studies.
“You can imagine a scenario where a crime scene investigator comes across a personal object – like a phone, pen or key – without fingerprints or DNA, or with prints or DNA not found in the database,” said senior author, Pieter Dorrestein, of the San Diego School of
Medicine and Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.
“They would have nothing to go on to determine who that belongs to. So, we thought – what if we take advantage of left-behind skin chemistry to tell us what kind of lifestyle
this person has?” The study was considered a “proof of concept” exercise, and more work is needed to refine the techniques for widespread use.
For now, the approach can only provide a general profile of person’s lifestyle, not a one-to-one match. XDubai: It is not uncommon to see UAE residents with their ears glued to their mobile phones, be it at the supermarket, the post office and even at the cinema.
But when it comes to road safety, how many motorists flout the traffic rules and use their mobile phones while driving? And how often do they text?
A recent YouGov survey has revealed how often UAE motorists use their mobile phones, and which emirate has the highest rate of offenders. Thomas Edelmann, Founder and Managing Director of Road- Safety UAE said, “It is alarming to see that only 26 per cent of motorists ‘never’ use their mobile while driving. Distracted driving is among the top causes of accidents, injuries and death on UAE’s roads and the use of mobile phones behind the wheel is one of the major sources of distraction.”
RoadSafetyUAE and QIC Insured on Wednesday released the findings of their most recent YouGov research wave, which showed that 25-29 year olds were the most vulnerable in using mobile phones while driving. The majority of offenders who broke the traffic rules were found to be residents of Sharjah, followed by Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Western expatriates have the best driving habits, according to the survey, as they almost never used their devices while on the road. The survey also found that 74 percent of drivers use their phones for incoming calls, 43 per cent for outgoing calls, 19 per cent for incoming messages such as WhatsApp, and 14 percent of motorists used it for outgoing