Tech focus: StitMe – keeping your phone numbers private

Our phone numbers are something we hand out readily to our contacts, yet we would like to protect them from misuse. StitMe is a service that enables users to control who can call you and when, without divulging your real number.

StitMe allows you to keep your mobile number private and control who can call you and when.

StitMe allows you to keep your mobile number private and control who can call you and when.

I was having tea the other day with Gurtaj Singh and he caught my interest with this app that he had launched just recently in the US.

It’s called StitMe and is not available outside of US yet but it sounded like it had great potential to solve one of the biggest dilemmas of the modern age.

You want as many friends, colleagues and potential contacts to be able to contact you, but you don’t want to receive calls from unwarranted telemarketers because your telephone number had been harvested and compiled in some call list that are being sold or circulated without your consent.

Worse still, in the US, anybody can use your telephone number to do a reverse number lookup (the equivalent of a Whois query) and get personal information about you like your residential address etc.

This is where StitMe comes in – users of the free service need not hand out their real telephone numbers anymore.

Between two StitMe users, all you give out is your StitMe User ID.

The recipient enters the User ID into his StitMe app or the phone’s organic Contacts app and his/her StitMe app sends a request to you to confirm the connection.

It’s like a Friend request on Facebook. You can either accept it or reject/ignore it.

This filters out people who may have stumbled upon your StitMe User ID and who tries to establish contact with you.

Better than Facebook, however, when you accept a StitMe request, you can specify when that person can call you eg. only during working hours or weekdays, or just for a specific 2-hour window, after which he/she may never call you again.

A single telephone number (StitMe Connection Number) is then generated for you and that person – both of you can use that same number to call each other.

StitMe associates this StitMe Connection Number with you and that specific contact along with the call-time specifications that you’d set for that contact.

Anybody else calling that number will not be connected to you.

Anytime you feel you don’t want to hear from a person again, simply delete the StitMe contact from the StitMe address book.

In terms of call charges, all the calls are charged by your Telco as if a direct call is being made between the two users.

Gurtaj Singh Padda, CEO & Founder, Boolean Tech (Ireland) Limited. #GURTAJPADDA

Gurtaj Singh Padda, CEO & Founder, Boolean Tech (Ireland) Limited. #GURTAJPADDA

So if it’s an overseas connection, the charge rates incurred by that call is as if a direct overseas call has been placed.

StitMe itself is free and does not charge fees for its service.

Messages/chats are secured with military-grade 512 Bit AES encryption (public and private key).

It’s not VOIP, so it does not seek to cannibalise the telco’s business.

Instead, it seeks to work hand-in-hand with the telcos.

Currently, Boolean Tech – the company behind StitMe – is in talks with Telcos to bring the service to Canada, Europe and beyond.

By the way, Boolean Tech is a startup registered in Ireland, based in Singapore, with servers in the US and software development offices in Singapore, Vietnam and Ireland.

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