“Trump Effect” or security concerns?
Let’s connect a couple of dots today …
Last week, the NY Times ran a story exposing a secret feature on some cellphones: a backdoor that sends all text messages to China.
According to the Times:
Cyber-security firms recently discovered pre-installed software on some Android phones that monitors where users go, whom they talk to and what they write in text messages.
The software transmits the full contents of text messages, contact lists, call logs, location information and other data to a Chinese server every 72 hours.
The code comes preinstalled on phones and the surveillance is not disclosed to users,
International customers and users of disposable or prepaid phones are the people most affected by the software.
This technological “vulnerability” shows how companies throughout the technology supply chain can compromise privacy, with or without the knowledge of manufacturers or customers.
It is not clear whether this represents secretive data mining for advertising purposes or a Chinese government effort to collect intelligence.
But, it reveals one way that Chinese companies — and by extension the government — can monitor cellphone behavior
My initial reaction: not a shocker … wonder if any Apple (or somebody else) will bring some manufacturing back to the U.S. to avoid security-threatening practices like this cellphone breach.
The next day, a seemingly unrelated story hit the wires …
Many sources, including the Daily Mail reported that Apple was, in fact, considering a move to manufacture some iPhones in the U.S.
According to the Daily Mail:
Apple has asked one of its Asian partners who helps assemble its signature product, the iPhone, to begin examining the possibility of moving production to the United States.
Foxconn – a Taiwanese multinational – is a contract manufacturer and one of two firms hired by Apple to assemble the iPhone.
Apple’s request request is significant in light of the election of Trump, who ran on a platform of anti-corporate populism fueled by the loss of domestic manufacturing jobs.
So, is Apple’s move attributable to security concerns or one of the first examples of the “Trump Effect”?
You decide …