Over fifty million users have had their data harvested through social media platform Facebook. Following the crisis of Cambridge Analytica, CEO Mark Zuckerberg admits the data scandal was a “major breach of trust”, and has publicly apologized. He has agreed to testify in front of U.S. Congress, and states in a public interview that Facebook has “a basic responsibility to protect people’s data”. He promises a full forensic audit to investigate who is improperly using private data of Facebook users.

Although Zuckerberg, has pledged to restrict access to app developers moving forward, there is still  concern regarding Android users and how data has been collected by Facebook from their mobile devices, without given permission. Fears of privacy invasion on Facebook is at its greatest, although Facebook highlights that two of the Android apps have opt-in/out features with prompts.

Apple iOS mobile devices do not allow access into the users’ calls and texts data unless a certain protocol is followed, therefore iPhones and iPads, are slightly more protected. The architecture of Android is different and not so secure.

There is a growing concern in some circles, that social media platforms could face strong government regulations in the aftermath of these incidents. There may even be a decline in activity since users are also likely to become skeptical, due to privacy protection concerns. This will in turn affect advertisers.

Facebook’s most valuable asset is the user, and the ability to follow the user track. the company monitors pages clicked on, as well as posts tagged and liked. By sharing this information, Facebook makes over 90% of profits on advertising, which according to research is in the realm of close to 40 million dollars.

Zuckerberg, has spoken of a commitment to 20,000 employees, working on security and content review, by the end of the year. In a recent public interview the Facebook guru states, “security isn’t a problem that you ever fully solve; you can get to a level where you are better than your adversaries and then continue evolving”.

Stocks and shares have already plummeted, with a loss estimated around $80 billion in market value. Consumers are now being extra cautious. After-all, no-one wants a “peeping Tom” in their phone.

To read a full report visit Ars Technica.

 

 

The Indian government has faced a strong backlash over some of its decisions regarding the implementation of the Aadhar card. However it has stood its ground, countering the unjustified discourse around Aadhar and the inability of some to completely comprehend it.

When the Aadhar project began in 2009, its sole aim was to provide each and every Indian with a universally acceptable and portable unique identification. The only form of unique identification in India before Aadhar was the Ration card, which became increasingly unreliable owing to many loopholes and corruption in the system. Aadhar was conceptualized as a way out, building over the flaws of the ration card and extending its service to all individuals unconditionally. (more…)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to place “Digital India”, at the forefront of his policies, has resulted in Indian officials collecting a massive biometric data base, of more than a billion people’s scanned fingerprints, and facial recognition.

Having at their fingertips, the ability and ease to make immediate payments, following the government backed fingerprint payment system. registered Indian shoppers, are ready for this fast track innovation; the ability make purchases in a split second.

In a country, where cash was used more than transaction, it was difficult to avoid fraud and corruption. Taxation payments for goods was easily avoided and money wasn’t flowing appropriately,  into the countries system. Now, with the collection of individual profiles in this government biometric ID data bank, citizens have the opportunity to open bank accounts, and have access to digital financial services. (more…)

Mumbai reflects on its lack of systematic surveillance programmes, with five reported incidents of fire in just 20 days.

Flames engulfed the sessions court building in Mumbai on a brisk Monday morning, as the incident became the latest in a string of fire eruptions across the city. The fire reportedly broke out on the third floor, with large sections of the floor and roof bearing the brunt. Fire fighters immediately rushed to the spot and no casualties were reported. In a statement to the press, civil officials underlined the wielding work on the premises as the primary reason for the fire. (more…)

In October 2017, Amazon announced the launch of its new security device – the Amazon Key. The Key consisted of a high grade security camera and a smart, programmable front door lock that enabled the users to unlock their doors while away from home. The objective of the device was to allow the delivery men to put the purchased items just inside the house instead of leaving it out at the doorstep in case the recipient was not at home. The launch was met with unwelcoming reactions which labelled the idea as ridiculously and absurdly unsafe. (more…)

Since the start of the year, Microsoft has been campaigning on a rather interesting notion to make the cyberspace safe. It has proposed that the global cyberspace be affixed with a Geneva-like convention to fight cyberattacks and other growing challenges.

Keeping the increasing rate of cybercrime and theft as the focal point of the campaign, Satya Nadella recently remarked on how formulating a code of conduct in the cyber space is as imperative as any other sphere due to its growing significance as well as complexity. The core idea behind the campaign is to render a model similar to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 that would safeguard the users against the rising malpractices in the cyber space and draw up a set of guidelines for conduct. (more…)

Z may simply be the last letter in the alphabet to most, but in India, this 26th letter, is powerful and highly recognized. It carries its weight as a status symbol, especially, when the + follows it.

Just ask any high ranking Indian political figure or an extraordinarily famous Bollywood celebrity, and they will tell you about the importance of the letters, X,Y and Z. When it comes to protection, these symbols say it all.

As Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, awaits the arrival of the daughter, of U.S. President Donald Trump, for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, (GES) 2017, in Hyderabad, next week, everyone’s thoughts are turning to the type of relevant security measures that will be taken to shield her, during this most important visit to India. (more…)

World news highlighted positive meetings yesterday, between Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, and US President Donald Trump, at the Association of South East Asian Nations, (ASEAN) summit, held in Manila, Philippines.

The two leaders, with a common objective of security for their respective nations and the world at large, shook hands after bilateral talks.

According to reports, apart from discussions on economic issues related to trade and investment, the two leaders privately discussed terrorism and shared mutual interest in finding solutions for the situation in Asia, and “humanity as a whole”. (more…)

Why does China have such strong involvement in the power sector of India, when the Chinese do not allow the same privilege to India?

Seemingly, there have been many lobbies by Indian companies against the involvement of the Chinese in the power sector of India, but still the Chinese, immerse themselves in the country. The India – China power investment, continues to be a serious topic of discussion, as electrical power equipment is persistently exported into India.

According to other sources of media, in order to appease the lobbyists and protect India, new regulations state that companies bidding for power transmission agreements in India, must have been operating there for approximately 10 years, if not more. In addition, their leading executives should be Indian citizens and the employees must also have lived in India for a many number of years.

Companies such as state-run China Southern Power Grid Co Ltd, Shanghai Electric, Dongfang Electronics, Sifang Automation and Harbin Electric, (all mentioned in Indian media coverage), are dominantly involved in the power distribution or delivery of equipment to almost 20 cities in India – that is quite extraordinary .

Due to the fear of possible cyber attacks in India, Prime Minister Modi, has created a policy that new conditions and terms have to be enforced and strong security implemented. The Chinese bring raw materials for transmission systems, which could quite easily be contaminated. Malware is a grave threat to India and any company or materials that contain it from China, are immediately banned from operations.

How India will protect itself from a power grid cyber attack is a growing challenge since it is a dynamic system. The grid is made up of individual generators, transmission lines, a distribution network and the consumer “load”, or end. India can never stop working on safety solutions since there are always loop holes to be cautious of in power grid systems.

India has to be extremely mindful of the Chinese, when it comes to the power sector, especially with the heightened tensions between India and China, on the Bhutan border.

A disruption to the power grid of India, created by an act of God, through foul weather or nature is no longer the main concern; the act of man, capable of divisive intentions, is the greatest fear of all.

 

 

 

Since the threat of terrorism has put everyone on high alert around the world, the U. S. authorities are taking the protocol of Homeland Security, extremely serious. Names and personal details of foreigners anxious for access into the United States of America, is carefully scrutinized.

Khan, is a rather popular name in India; it is as “common” and “as much used”, as Smith or Jones, in the Western world. There are files of people with the name Khan. Backgound checks may be frowned upon by many, but are more than ever necessary, in today’s world;  strict security cannot be avoided. This law applies so strongly, to the checking of names, that even one of the most revered actors in Bollywood, Shah Rukh Khan, couldn’t escape scrutiny. He has twice been detained by U.S. authorities, at different US. Airports.

In 2009 Shah Rukh Khan, was held for two hours at Newark Airport in New Jersey. The second time was in 2012, while he was on his way to a function at Yale University. The famous Indian film star, arrived on a private plane at a small airport in White Plains, New York. Reports state, he was held by U.S. Immigration Officials there, for over an hour.

The charismatic actor, who has starred in over 70 movies, was able to retain a good sense of humor regarding the “hassle”, in both airport instances. U.S. dignitaries, as well as Customs and Border protection officials, expressed “profound” apologies.

Since then the U.S. Government has recognized that even though security is paramount to the protection of the great nation of America, the deep bond and valued relationship with India is equally vital. Due to this, the U.S. government has been gracious enough to grant travelers from India, easier access into America by way of  the Global Entry Program.

The first citizen to enroll in the program was Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Navtej Sarna. Security officials of Customs and Border Protection, insist that Indian visitors must be pre-approved for the Global Entry Program. All applicants are subject to a meticulous personal investigation and in-person interview.

At select U.S. airports the pre-approved members of the Global Entry Program, receive VIP treatment. There are no lines or queues. Specially designed kiosks allow easy expediting of entry into the United States of America. The pre-approved travelers present their complete U.S. customs declaration forms, scan fingerprints, then present their machine readable passports and U.S. Permanent Resident cards. If the process is followed correctly, and all is satisfactory, a receipt is given to the Global Entry member, who quickly finds his/her way to the baggage claim area to finally exit the airport.

Acting Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Kevin McAleenan feels proud and excited to offer the “Trusted Traveller” program to Indian citizens.

This model is a not only a system that provides excellent security for the U.S.A and efficiency for U.S. officials, it completely revolutionizes international arrivals. Indian citizens traveling to America, are expected to feel “less hassle”. More importantly, they will feel highly respected and extremely welcome.