The Limits of Our Trust in Technology

This post could be titled the Dimensions of Trust, but I would rather try to give trust in technology some possible limitations and boundaries.  Common sense tells me that 21st Century conditions and the pace of technology changes may be a  challenge to traditional notions of trust, especially among generations or cultures that are new to it.  For starters, here are a few examples of some competing ideas and beliefs that affect my own trust.  ARE TECHNOLOGY DEVICES AND TRANSACTIONS:

  • true or false?
  • real or unreal?
  • safe or unsafe?
  • temporary or lasting?
  • trustworthy or suspicious?
  • crazy or sane?
  • private or public?

Or do we just blindly trust everything, regardless, and become more vigilant when we get hacked or compromised?

And if we do notice or care, how do we determine where the limits actually may be or where on a continuum they might fall, especially when confronted every day by unexpected or unusual Internet, Smartphone, and other financial and personal transactions.  First, a couple of facts that affect my own perceptions of trust and the my attitude about it:

  • The Internet is free – for all intentions and purposes.  (Yes we pay for connectivity, bandwidth, or usage, but the content itself is mostly free of charge – much like the advertising that we have traditionally become accustomed to on broadcast television)
  • Communication with other people and content providers is global – by default, and has few boundaries that we control or can readily determine.
  • Much of what happens on our devices is usually unsolicited or delivered to us unscheduled.
  • Some of what happens on our devices is a value added service from our device manufacturer or Internet provider – like hardware updates, for instance.

Here are some real-world examples of how these dichotomies are tested.

true or false?

The recent “fake news” epithet has attracted a lot of attention recently.  There once was a time in the not so distant past when most citizen trusted the editorial opinions and fact checking and verification of the mainstream media publishers and broadcasters.  All that changed very quickly when prominent public figures suggested that their enemies were engaging in disinformation campaigns using public as well as

safe or unsafe?
real or unreal?

When some of us purchased the newest Samsung Galaxy Smartphone in mid 2016, we discovered that there was a flaw in the built-in battery that overheated the phone and created a dangerous fire hazard.  The problem was so serious that many commercial airlines banned the device on their flights.  Samsung recalled and replaced the defective phones.  I doubt that this safety problem has deterred too many smartphone users from purchasing a smartphone, but it probably drove potential buyers to other less unfortunate brands.

temporary or lasting?

I don’t trust that a document or message that I want to save or archive will be available to me next year or in the distant future.  As predicated before the year 2000, the amount of information or data connected to each of us has exploded exponentially to the point where there is much more than we can effectively manage ourselves.  See : Some Stuff.

crazy or sane?

A relative tells me that he has recently turned off all activity to his smartphone because he has heard that criminal elements have found out how to spy on him.  He believes these thoughts.  I have no means of confirming or rejecting the claims.  The point is that he believes it and has changed his Internet and Smartphone communication activities as a means to improve his trust in the device, his provider, and the services he chooses to use or not use

private or public?

As Hillary Clinton found out, the ability to make your messaging private has its pitfalls, not just because she was a public figure, but because access to private services and systems requires an entirely different level of expertise and expense.  As well, the dark Internet, while hidden from public view, contains much content and many services that are unlawful, distasteful, and not for public consumption.

phony or genuine?

There are now so many (millions upon millions) of websites and online services that it may be impossible to really avoid scams, get rich schemes, socially engineered emails, fraudulent services,  and other phony attractions.  Experience seems to be the best teacher for these kinds of nuisances.  Effective anti-spam, malware, phishing, and ransomware software can be extremely helpful in improving trust since they make their living by continually updating knowledge bases about the bad guys.

trustworthy or suspicious?

I get an alert in a text message from my bank on my smartphone stating that a attempted transaction to my debit card account was declined.  I look at the summary and it makes no sense to me.  I don’t know the merchant, the amount is strange, and it has been charged against a former account number.  I immediately suspect that the message itself might be false or some form of cyber crime.  So I take time to login to my account with a computer and determine that the transaction actually happened.  Upon calling the bank’s 800 support number I am told that I had been issued a new card last month due to suspicious activity on my account (that I had not been aware of at all).

Well, make up your own mind.  Do you Trust Technology?  Are you attitudes changing with the passage of time?  The answers to these questions might very well be a predictor of new business opportunities and services to insure privacy and build better Trust.

Thanks to our friends at SafeJunction.

 

 

 

 

 

What Can Be Gleaned From Trump’s Allegations of Wiretapping

“An accusation for which the president again offered no evidence sets off another spasm surrounding his young administration.”

SafeJunction holds the privacy of citizens and lawfully conducted investigations, including conversations, documents, and materials gleaned thereby to be of the highest importance in a free democracy.  We believe that an individual’s right to privacy in the conduct of lawful personal and business affairs is a right, not just a privilege to be taken lightly.

Source: What Can Be Gleaned From Trump’s Allegations of Wiretapping – The New York Times

Thanks to The New York Times

No such thing as absolute privacy

“There is no such thing as absolute privacy in America; there is no place outside of judicial reach,” Comey said at a Boston College conference on cybersecurity. He made the remark as he discussed the rise of encryption since 2013 disclosures by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden revealed sensitive US spy practices.
“Even our communications with our spouses, with our clergy members, with our attorneys are not absolutely private in America,” Comey added. “In appropriate circumstances, a judge can compel any one of us to testify in court about those very private communications.”
 But, he also said Americans “have a reasonable expectation of privacy in our homes, in our cars, in our devices.
“It is a vital part of being an American. The government cannot invade our privacy without good reason, reviewable in court,” Comey continued.
The privacy conversation continues in 2017 as the White House sends mixed messages.  And new threats to computing devices and TVs remind us to be vigilent and not assume that we are protected from surveillance, hacking, and cyber crime.

FBI Chief Comey on Privacy

Thanks to the FBI and CNN

Symantec to acquire LifeLock for $2.3B

Security company will combine identity protection service with Norton.

As 2016 wanes, “the year of privacy” finally has a significant event to teach us that privacy has finally come of age.  The $2.3B LifeLock acquisition marks the maturing of an industry that has struggled to find a place in mainstream Internet life.  Countless articles about the end of privacy and the public’s seeming lack of concern about personal information and data has been common theme for many years.

May be this event signals a change in all that.

Source: Symantec to acquire LifeLock for $2.3B

Thanks to USA Today

Exclusive: Yahoo secretly scanned customer emails for U.S. intelligence

Yahoo Inc last year secretly built a custom software program to search all of its customers’ incoming emails for specific information provided by U.S. intelligence officials, according to people familiar with the matter.The company complied with a classified U.S. government demand, scanning hundreds of millions of Yahoo Mail accounts at the behest of the National Security Agency or FBI, said three former employees and a fourth person apprised of the events.

SafeJunction protects your documents and emails from prying eyes.

Source: Exclusive: Yahoo secretly scanned customer emails for U.S. intelligence – sources | Reuters\

Thanks to Reuters

Changing Tactics: The Rise of the Privacy Advocates

Justin Brookman of the Center for Democracy and Technology certainly thinks privacy advocates are gaining traction. Five years ago, for example, the public really wasn’t engaged in the conversation about privacy at all.

“The issues weren’t intuitive to them, and the message wasn’t getting out,” Brookman said.

The privacy conversation continues with increased awareness of threats to Internet users identities and information.  Until there’s a major event, breach, or high profile privacy breach, users will continue to assume that they won’t get hacked, have their financial services compromised, or be embarrassed.  SafeJunction continues to believe that our privacy products will continue to be relevant, but market adoption will be slow.

Changing Tactics

privacy1-520x245

Thanks to

Why Don’t You Care About Privacy?

Why don’t you care about privacy?

Simple answer:

Because most of us think we already have it. After all there are two amendments to the Constitution of The United States, the First and Fourth that “guarantee” our privacy.

And because we aren’t animals at the core.

Have you ever watched a dog sitting at the door of the house, ears perked up, attentive?  That dog cares about privacy, or better yet security.  He (she)’s built to protect the territory, assuming nothing – at each sound or sign of danger – alert behavior results including standing, barking, growling, or aggressively moving forward toward the intrusion.

But humans aren’t wired for such alert protection.  In fact we’ve grown accustomed to all sorts of questionable, curious, and random changes in our modern lives that should attract our attention, but which we seem to dismiss out of hand.  The proliferation of security cameras in public places is a great example.  The only time we do pay attention is AFTER we’ve been attacked or violated or been subject to theft or monetary loss.

There are times, though, when we actually take steps to protect things.  With valuables, we will hide them under the bed or in a safe, secure location that would be hard for an intruder to find.  Similarly have learned to protect our computers and smart devices with passwords, although research shows that password patterns are so easily recreated that we might be better off without them.  In fact, current technology industry predictions suggest that passwords will go away and be replaced by bio-metric security.

We rail against cyber crime, merchant account breaches, and data compromises but still seem NOT to care too much about exposing our identities and information casually to the Internet world.

It would seem that best we can do today is to be pulled along by device manufacturers who will use security features as marketing tactics to keep us buying their devices.  So watch for various new twists on bio-metric security from all the major vendors in late 2016.  But don’t expect to see any new awareness of the importance of privacy as a result.

phishing_password_security_thinkstock-100412471-primary.idge_

Thanks to SafeJunction

New FCC regulations may not give consumers true online privacy protection

Google, Facebook, Amazon and a myriad of other “edge providers” are not covered by the eventual privacy rules that will be drafted.

Our social media giants continue to provide the illusion that your identity is safe – just what you’d expect from a free service.

Source: New FCC regulations may not give consumers true online privacy protection | TechCrunch

President Obama Speaks In The East Room Of White House On Efforts To Reduce Gun Violence

Thanks to TC – TechCrunch

 

How to Thank a Teacher – 25 Simple Ways

“They work long hours supporting and educating our children. How often have you taken the time to say thank you? Here are 25 simple ways to say thanks: Give a sincere thank you in person Slip a thank you card on their desk Write a special note in your child’s homework folder Send a kind email […]

  1. Give a sincere thank you in person
  2. Slip a thank you card on their desk
  3. Write a special note in your child’s homework folder
  4. Send a kind email to thank them for something specific they did for your child
  5. Have your child write a note or draw a picture for them
  6. Stop in for a brief moment before or after school to say thanks
  7. Tell the principal and other administrators how much you appreciate your child’s teacher
  8. Send in supplies for the classroom
  9. Volunteer in the classroom
  10. Chaperone a field trip
  11. Volunteer to help with something at home (cutting out lamination, organizing files, etc.)
  12. Offer to come in and help make copies or work on a special project
  13. Give a gift card for Teacher Appreciation Week
  14. Donate an iTunes gift cards so the class can download new apps
  15. Buy a book to donate to the class library
  16. Bring in homemade treats
  17. Deliver a cookie, or other tasty treat from a local bakery
  18. Find out what their favorite snack is and bring it to them
  19. Recognize them with some takeout for lunch
  20. Make a bouquet of pencils or highlighters or other school supplies
  21. Compliment them on Facebook
  22. Bring in their favorite soft drink or tea
  23. Give them flowers
  24. Buy a gift certificate they can use at a bookstore
  25. Help with stress; bring a relaxing gift – bath salts, soothing lotions or gift certificate for a pedicure”

Source: How to Thank a Teacher – 25 Simple Ways

Thanks to California Casualty