Last few months have been an eye opener for customers who trust technology giants like Sony, Apple, Google and Facebook with their personal information. Some serious security breaches by these giants were exposed recently which resurfaced the debate about how much we should trust while sharing our personal information online. Are you of the kind who dont think twice before sharing personal information online? Then you might want to take a look at this and decide for yourself.
Was this Intentional by Apple?
First it was a revelation about Apple that it had been all along tracking and collecting information about customer whereabouts through its iPhone. Apple had been storing geographical information to a file called ‘consolidated.db’.
Apple had to apologise to all its customers and the data collection was blamed on programming errors. Further Apple promised to reduce its data collection in future to calm down privacy fears.
Google in Spotlight for Security Breaches
Some time back, it was Google that caught the unexpected spotlight when German Regulators found that Google cars, taking pictures around streets for its “Streetview” service, was also recording information being sent over WiFi networks. Google had to apologise and stop the exercise. The case is still pending in European courts and Google could end up facing a substantial fine.
Now, Google is in the spotlight again, thanks to its immensely successful Android platform and its ever growing network of users across the world. A research, again from a German University, has recently shown that a serious security loophole in Android software allowed hackers to easily access geographical as well as all personal data about its users through an authentication code obtained by the phone while accessing WiFi at public spots.
Google acted quickly and warned users not to use WiFi at public spots while it sends an over-the-air update to fix this flaw.
Sony Playstation network Hacked!!
Sony has had its share of troubles over the last few months with their “PlayStation” network. Sony waited for a week before announcing that their PlayStation network database, containing personal information about the users including their credit card details, has been compromised, when it was hacked by some hackers.
Sony was heavily criticised for delaying the hacking information and it took it almost more than a month to restore the network.
Facebook, the Key to your House door
With more than 500 million users active on facebook, it is fast becoming the most popular site with humungous database containing personal as well work information about its users.
People don’t even think twice before putting/ exchanging sensitive information on Facebook only to realise the consequences when it is too late.
Research last week showed that burglars are now using Facebook to find their target homes, as people in their overzealous mood go dumb and declare on Facebook that they are going away for holiday.
Currently, some European governments like France, Germany are pressing for more regulation on this sector while companies like Google, Facebook are arguing against it, as they claim it is repressing “freedom of speech”.
While companies like Apple, Google, Microsoft and Amazon are in a race to demonstrate that technological future is in “cloud computing” where more and more information is stored online, all this raises some important questions.
Should customers trust all these giants with their personal information?
Do the customers actually know how their personal information is being stored and used by these companies?
Shouldn’t customers accept some culpability when they land themselves in a soup by imprudently sharing sensitive information online?
It’s often said that “customer is king” but customer shouldn’t forget that he is also the victim of his own decisions.