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Giving Credit where Credit is Not Due

Giving Credit where Credit is Not Due

…is something the local press likes to do all too often. Well, Kipp’s not letting this one slip.

July 3, 2011 4:48 by

If there is one thing Kipp can’t tolerate, it is people who wrongfully take credit for accomplishments. When Young Kipp was in primary school, we had the unfortunate pleasure on knowing one particular student in our class, who had a terrible habit of incorrectly claiming victories as their own. Whenever anyone asked them a question, they would stay silent until somebody else blurted out the answer. At that very moment, the culprit would pipe up, “Oh! I was just going to say the very same thing. Just, just, just going to say it.”

Oh, young Kipp’s fury at that students constant need to claim recognition in retrospect was rekindled today as we read this particular article from Gulf News titled “UAE researchers first to discover iPhone location tracker.”

The feature claimed that the discovery of the iPhone tracker which was the cause of much controversy and damage to Apple’s reputation, belong to the UAE. According to the article, the discovery of the geo-location feature of the iPhone was found as part of a master’s research dissertation on cyber security done by then ZU student, Mona Badr, with Dr Ebrahim Baggili, director of the cyber forensics lab at Zayed University more than a year ago.

When asked about his year-old discovery, Dr Baggili noted “When I first heard the news [of the geo-location tracker] I immediately thought I should have gone to the media with it because we’d known about it for so long…It wasn’t information we really prioritised in the research because I had plans to use it for something else. ”

Aye, there’s the rub, Dr.Baggili! Though you perhaps may have made the discovery over a year ago, the failure to recognise the potential explosive nature of this news, prevents you from collecting brownies points in retrospect.

In fact, had the iPhone tracker not been discovered by someone else, the good doctor would not have even thought it important to mention it to anyone—not even to alert them for their safety or privacy. This raises more than a few eyebrows, Kipp thinks. After all, what other information are our scientists unwittingly keeping from the public?

Sitting on information as major as this for an entire year, with intentions of “using it for something else” does not allow Gulf News to herald ZU with a headline like “UAE researchers first to discover iPhone location tracker.” Come on Gulf News, we are all for empowering our scientists, but this is no achievement. If anything it should garner a few red cheeks and lowered gazes.


  1. wee itar on July 3, 2011 7:51 pm

    Is discovery even the right term? Thats just a phone designed by some techies in california who we can assume were fully aware what they were making or did it happen by accident. It isn’t as if they have found something hidden in the intergalactic space!!

  2. Andrew on July 5, 2011 7:09 am

    As it happens Dr. Baggili is a good friend of mine.

    Ibrahim is one of only a handful of people globally that are Ph.D qualified in his field, and if he’s got something to say on the matter I’d listen. He’s very much focused on research, as evidenced by his decision to publish the information in a small academic journal through his alma mater, Purdue.

    Being that it’s a rare feather in the UAE’s academic cap to have someone like him teaching here, ZU has been publicising the department that he runs.; the story is part of a series of articles that have been appearing in various papers last few months.

    As ham-fisted by ZU and the press as this is I can’t fault Ibrahim, given that he in no way, shape or form courts media attention or praise.


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