Other wireless technologies

9.46 Wireless technologies enable devices to transmit and receive data ‘by means of a signal that uses some part of the electromagnetic spectrum’.[90] RFID technology, discussed above, is a wireless technology. ‘WiFi’ and ‘Bluetooth’ are examples of other wireless technologies.[91] WiFi technology enables devices to connect to the internet in certain ‘hotspots’, while Bluetooth technology enables devices to connect to each other across short distances.

9.47 Wireless technologies can be used to purchase goods, services or digital content (m-commerce), to enhance business performance (m-enterprise) and to provide services that do not involve commercial transactions, such as mobile banking services (m-services). Wireless devices such as personal digital assistants (PDAs) and mobile telephones are increasingly using similar hardware and software systems to those used in PCs. The use of wireless technologies raises privacy concerns because ‘device limitations, along with different network configurations mean that wireless technologies present a higher risk from eavesdropping and hackers’.[92] Further, devices that use wireless technologies are vulnerable to theft and subsequent misuse.

[90] R Clarke, Wireless Transmission and Mobile Technologies (2003) Australian National University <www.anu.edu.au/people/Roger.Clarke/EC/WMT.html> at 24 April 2008.

[91] The term ‘WiFi’ is commonly used to describe wireless local area networks based on a particular standard developed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (the IEEE 802.11 standard), while the term ‘Bluetooth’ is commonly used to describe wireless personal area networks based on the IEEE 802.15.1 standard. Standards are discussed in Chs 10 and 28.

[92] C Gould and others, ‘Mapping the Mobile Landscape in Australia ’ (2006) 11 First Monday <firstmonday.org/issues/issue11_11/gould/index.html>.