Think Before You Speak! Your Phone Hears & Saves It All
The Tech Threat
We all know Big Brother is watching us — but just how much of our daily lives are under scrutiny without our realising it? In this hi-tech world, information about our likes, dislikes and daily routine can be picked up by everything from Facebook to internet searches. While facial recognition is increasingly used in certain public places, more and more private firms are gathering data on all kinds of customer information. So, how worried should you be?
Phone As Passport
There are plans to trial using mobile phones with a scan of your passport to speed up passage through airports. Everyone is going to applaud that. But, it is a phone app that will have a scan of your passport with all your identifying data. What happens if the phone is lost or stolen? What happens if the provider of the app suffers a security breach?
Big Tech Sees All
We’ve all searched online for a sunshine break only to be bombarded with holiday ads for weeks after. That’s the price we pay for free searches. We don’t pay to use Google or to have a Gmail account yet the company is making huge amounts of cash and it’s our data that helps it do that. The cookies on the browser log where you are and track where you go. If you visit Amazon, it knows what sort of books you like and can offer you recommendations.
Smart Speakers Are Listening
We are less guarded with a smart speaker in our home than we would be with an internet browser or sharing information on social networks. A few months ago, all the companies behind these devices denied gathering information but later it was revealed that they were recording information, so they could provide a better service. All the information we talk about at home is massively valuable to advertisers. For some, it is okay as long as they tell people they are doing it and offer a way to opt out of it.
What’s In A Face?
Police in the US use facial recognition on body cams and CCTV systems in city centres to recognise someone in the crowd who may be on a wanted list. It is also understandable why a global company like Amazon wants to use it to replace the username and password system. But are they handling this information securely? If a hacker steals biometric data, you can’t change that. You are stuck with that loss forever.
Watch Out For ‘Fun’ Apps
A face-ageing app that showed you how you would look in 30 years took the world by storm with celebrities sharing their older selves online. But there were also security concerns about the data the app could collect. What you should be concerned about is the potential for that to be abused.
Take Back Control
While you can’t control being picked up on CCTV or being subject to facial recognition, there are steps you can take to protect your privacy and personal data in other ways. You can be careful with what you share, you can be aware of your privacy settings and you can protect your devices with internet security, so you don’t get malicious programmes and apps which try to capture your data.