I just got an email from Gurps, an iDB reader who tells me his story about Bump, an application that lets you share images, contacts, and more simply by bumping 2 iPhones into each other. Here is part of Gurps’ story:

Basically, I was sitting in my room, introducing my sister (a new iPhone user) on the Bump application. I proceeded to send her some photos. Occasionally it didn’t work since it said only one of us had bumped, but we did have some success. Then, we bumped phones again and a message popped on my screen saying, “Connect with Junaid’s iPhone”, obviously not my sisters name, but I clicked yes anyway. I ended up receiving a picture message from someone totally random, that I’ve never met in my life.

After looking into it, Gurps found out he was receiving pictures from a guy who was about 15 miles away from him.

Now this is not a big deal as Gurps was just sending and receiving pictures. But imagine if he had been using Bump to send money via the Paypal application. The bug could have lead to something much worse than receiving pictures from randoms.

That’s something that should be brought to Bump’s developers attention.

Have you ever had such problem with Bump?

  • Burge

    How far can bump send stuff ? I know this not good for bump but 15 miles that has got to be the a record

  • Any one else reported this?

  • @LappyGirl

    That is so bizarre. I use Bump almost daily w/ my husband & son. Even w/ a friend who has Bump on her HTC. Never had that happen. I’ll definitely be paying more attention in the future.

  • This has been a problem ever since Bump introduced the 3G support.

    Quick primer on how Bump works:
    1. You both Bump.
    2. Your locations and the times are both sent to Bump’s servers.
    3. Bump replies back to you both with the matching information, and this lets you trade data.

    So the location information is all-critical here. However, as everybody knows, the iPhone location info pretty much sucks. It can take up to 30-45 seconds for it to get a precise fix, and that’s if you’re outdoors too. In order to combat this, one of the things the iPhone does is to give an accuracy indicator to apps. If you want location quickly, you can get it instantly, but it’ll be imprecise as heck. As time passes, the accuracy increases and it narrows down the location.

    Now, Bump has always used just the quickie data because a) it’s faster, b) the odds of Bumping at the same instant as somebody else in your wider location is pretty thin, and the big one, c) Bump originally required both of you to be on the same WiFi network.

    Now that Bump supports 3G, and it’s more popular, those odds are increasing. And yes, 15 miles is not outside the range of possibility for the immediate low-accuracy location data. Especially if you’re indoors and not near known and located WiFi access points.

    In short, Bump needs to only use the more precise location data. But this would mean longer startup times as it waited for the phone to get a fix on the position.

    If you want better security, use Mover on WiFi (or Mover Open or Mover+ on Bluetooth) instead.

  • Junaid

    It was me who gurps accidentally bumped with it’s bizarre but I have experienced it again today I think the problem occurs when you bump indoors where location data is not precise

  • Gurpswu

    We meet again!

  • Junaid

    Thanks for introducing me to this excellent blog appreciate if you could remove the picture.


  • nXt

    When you “bump” with another person, your phones don’t actually send each other data. The phone sends it to Bump’s servers, then it’s downloaded onto the other person’s phone through wifi/3G.

    It does not do real phone to phone transfer via wifi or bluetooth.

    Use an app called Mover (Mover+) and you can really transfer contacts/pictures/etc. via wifi or bluetooth.

  • Hi guys,
    This is one of the Bump developers.
    Keep in mind guys there is a double confirm step: if you said Yes and Junaid said Yes, perhaps you both did have some interest in matching to someone you did not know! Which can be fun but is not the designed use of Bump.
    As Otto stated there is a small chance of an unwanted match currently and the reason is because of poor location information. We call this the “false positive rate”. We can control the strictness and right now it is a little loose to err on the side of matching more easily.
    Some suggestions:
    1. The current (2.0.x) iPhone version of Bump lets you delete history items (e.g. photos) and block any user you have communicated with.
    2. After you have confirmed your partner, Bump establishes a secure connection with their device. The chance a photo or message sent from the chat screen will go to the wrong place is zero.

    Feel free to write support@bu.mp with any comments or suggestions. We read and answer all email, and value positive and negative feedback so we can improve the product.
    Andy Huibers

  • 3G gal

    My boyfriend says this happened to him only it was an entire chat conversation between 2 people. Has this happened to anyone else?

  • Puckett

    I just bumped over300miles

  • Colin F

    I actually do this for fun. I open the bump app, choose a photo to share, then tap the side of the phone to simulate a real bump.

    Of course, most of the time it doesn’t work, but about 1 in every 50 or so times it finds a ‘match’. Provided the other person hits the confirm button, the photo sends.

    I’m in London- I’ve ‘bumped’ photos to people in Brighton (70 miles away) , Paris (220 miles) and even Quebec! Most of the time though the recipient is just a few miles away.

  • aj

    YUP…husband has been spying on me with it!!

  • Unknown

    That exact thing happened to me, I was bumping with my aunty and it came up with a picture of a teen Ager and it’s name was Rachel is awesome, and I’m only 11, bump should watch out because If my gf see,es me with another girl on bump, she’s gonna dump me

    From unknown

  • Ryan 11111111111

    The exact thing happened to me , I’m 11 I was bumping with my aunty and it came up with Rachel is awesome.

  • Junaid





  • I was in durham and I connected to someone random in Cambridge… The other side of the country… Beat that for distance!!
    216 miles!

  • Aisha Hussain

    I keep getting messages from my name on Bump saying hello, how is everybody and random typing like djjdjdjjsjsjejjs and when i open it the conversation doesnt exist. I am really quite scared. Happens every two weeks!