To guarantee the privacy you want (vs. deserve; that’s a different issue) better security is a requirement. Among major operating systems which reside on our various and sundry electronic devices, Apple’s iOS remains, arguably, the most secure and offers the most privacy. Yes, that’s by design, but the walled garden and high curated app store method ensures a better user experience. At a price.
The week three specific headlines caught my eye and did not tickle my ears.
Elon Musk – The man who engineered Tesla’s great wealth and prominence, put SpaceX into the sky, is afraid of artificial intelligence. Hey, isn’t that what we have in The White House now? Sorry. I couldn’t help myself, but I’m sure you understand.
The father of Tesla says AI could cause humankind some major problems and needs regulatory oversight immediately.
I have exposure to the very most cutting-edge AI and I think people should be really concerned about it. I keep sounding like an alarm bell, but until people see robots going down the street killing people, they don’t know how to react because it seems so ethereal… AI is a rare case where I think we need to be proactive in regulation instead of reactive, because I think by the time we are reactive, regulation is too late
GhostCtrl – Malware on Android isn’t anything new, and Google plays Whack-a-Mole with hackers, but this one is nasty. It’s based upon OmniRAT which is software that spies and gains remote control on Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android, but GhostCtrl seems to be the worst because of what it does– records audio, video, and steals data– and it targets unsuspecting Android device owners.
Danny Palmer on how it gets around:
Users become infected with the malware by downloading fake versions of legitimate popular apps, including WhatsApp and Pokemon Go.When launched, GhostCtrl installs a malicious Android application package (APK) in order to take over the device.
And what it does:
The most worrying aspect of the malware isn’t just its ability to intercept messages from contacts specfied by the attacker, as GhostCtrl can also stealthily record audio and video, enabling the attackers to conduct full-on espionage on victims.
What do you think? Where did GhostCtrl come from? Russia? China? Apple’s walled garden ecosystem looks pretty good right now, no?
F.B.I. – You don’t see too many public service announcements from government spooks but this week the F.B.I. released a lengthy warning to parents about small toys– mostly made in China– which have sensors that include cameras, microphones, and GPS.
Toys with microphones could record and collect conversations within earshot of the device. Information such as the child’s name, school, likes and dislikes, and activities may be disclosed through normal conversation with the toy or in the surrounding environment. The collection of a child’s personal information combined with a toy’s ability to connect to the Internet or other devices raises concerns for privacy and physical safety. Personal information (e.g., name, date of birth, pictures, address) is typically provided when creating user accounts.
This kind of activity is rampant these days, and unsuspecting adults and children are most at risk.
It’s a jungle out there. Which brings me to Apple.
Apple – The iPhone maker is all about user experience, which is why customers love macOS and iOS. Both have plenty of useful features and functionality grows each year. But both are part of an ecosystem of usability. Call it a walled garden if you wish. Denigrate it as a curated Disneyesque environment for those willing to pay. But call it safer than whatever else it out there in the jungle, just waiting for prey to pay little attention.
I have my issues with Apple’s strategies, products, and price tag, but consider the alternatives.