Tech cold war. Cyber war. That’s what they all seem to be calling it.
Recent security breaches by Chinese electronics manufacturer Huawei have caused fears all over the globe. With the company’s CFO, Meg Wanzou under house arrest for fraud and Germany considering blocking Huawei products countrywide, chaos surrounds them. U.S President, Donald Trump has blacklisted the company which has caused a 2.5% drop in Google’s share price.
But what exactly has happened to cause this?
There are reasons to believe Huawei have been using their technology to spy on its consumers in order to obtain sensitive and usually secure information. Back in January it was reported by a US newspaper that the company had been stealing trade secrets from American business partners. This came six months after Huawei overtook Apple and became the world’s second-biggest smartphone maker. However, reports of the company violating the sanctions put on Iran and alleged theft of intellectual property have massively ruptured the trust placed in Chinese manufacturing by businesses.
It wasn’t long ago that Mark Zuckerberg faced investigation after the Cambridge Analytica revelation. There were major breaches in security when user information was shared out to other parties. People have long been suspicious of technology and these scandals are doing nothing to reassure concerns.
Now, U.S government officials fear that Huawei’s actions have given them access to confidential information they believe Beijing could use for espionage. Any technology by the company has become a national security threat and companies all around the globe are blocking systems from supporting Huawei networks. Even mobile phone applications are restricting access on such devices in an attempt to save the security of their user’s being compromised. As a result, those with Huawei devices will no longer be able to access Google, Google Maps, Gmail and many other apps.
With such bold actions taking place, we must contemplate the danger of our own devices. As was seen with Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal, even those in charge of our information are vulnerable to its corruption.