Technology can be a blessing or a curse. Take the Amazon Echo (AE). The AE plays all your music from Amazon Music, Spotify, TuneIn using just your voice. It hears you from across the room with far-field voice recognition, even in noisy environments or while playing music. That’s not all; it answers questions, reads audiobooks, reports news, traffic and weather, provides sports scores and schedules and more. However, this technology has the potential to violate the privacy of good and bad people. Same with Airline boarding passes. Technology has made it easy to download the boarding pass on your smartphone. How would you like to have a stranger upgrade their seat to first class using your credit card?
Read the two brief articles below and answer the question at the end.
Amazon declines to hand over Echo data
Arkansas police are hoping that an Amazon Echo found at a murder scene in Bentonville will help them with their investigation into the death of a man strangled in a hot tub. While Amazon’s smart assistant only records what’s said to it after it’s triggered by someone saying “Alexa”, police are hoping that the devices’ habit of piping up in response to a radio or TV might mean it inadvertently recorded something that might be of use to them. However, Amazon, in common with other tech companies, is not keen to hand over this kind of customer information to law enforcement. Amazon stores voice recordings from the Echo on its servers to improve its services, but the Seattle-based company, which has apparently released the account details of the alleged attacker to police, has declined to provide the voice recordings they are seeking via a search warrant.
Airline booking security rapped
Airline booking systems are hopelessly insecure and lack basic security, according to researchers. Karsten Nohl and Nemanja Nikodijevic presented their findings at the Chaos Communication Congress in Germany on Tuesday, warning that there’s little standing in the way of attackers who could change passengers’ flight details and steal air miles. The pair said that with a traveller’s six-digit identification code, the PNR, which is easily found on boarding passes and luggage tags, an attacker could steal personal information and launch phishing attacks, because there’s no way to check that the person seeking that information was entitled to do so. They also warned that the airline booking systems, which date from the 1980s and earlier, lack the security systems that prevent abuse.
This article is from 2016 but still relevant and scary.
Here is your Task For this week:
At what point do we cross the line between collecting information and providing conveniences, e.g., AE and downloading boarding passes, to better inform decisions on business needs and analyzing data on individuals? Please post your thoughts?