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iPhone ‘Burner’ app lets you create disposable phone numbers

iPhone ‘Burner’ app lets you create disposable phone numbers

Ever wish you could give out your numbers to strangers without actually giving out your number, or when you do, not have them bother you anymore? Well, there’s an iPhone app that lets you do just that.

Burner, a service that has just launched Stateside, bids to put an end to moments of dread, enabling you to set up temporary numbers that you can hand out freely without fear or regret.

The numbers will expire a few days later. Or you can ‘burn’ them, preventing anyone who has no other way of contacting you from calling you anymore. And if you want the calls to keep coming, you can extend the numbers for a few more days.

To us, that sounds like a match made in heaven for dating services and is sure to appeal to anyone who loves a night out but wants to tread with caution when meeting new people.

Of course there are other less licentious uses for it too, such as providing a temporary number for classifieds, short-term projects and even online marketing.

"You can post a Burner number to Twitter or Facebook to let people know how to reach you, for marketing purposes, or just for fun,” said Burner.

Obviously, there’s also a chance the app may be used for malicious purposes, such as organised crime. If the UK riots last year are anything to go by, there’s certainly cause to be concerned.

However, Burner says any inappropriate or illegal activities can and will be traceable via IP addresses of the users’ handsets, which will hopefully deter misuse.

The app costs $1.99 (about £1.50) and comes with enough credit to set up one Burner line. Currently it’s only available in the US, but Burner confirms a UK release is definitely on its roadmap.

Do you think an app like this is a good idea? Or is anonymity simply a recipe for abuse? Let us know in the comments section below.

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