A considerable number of people are a lot less informed over what could happen if their privacy is compromised online. They don’t even perform any action to beef up their security. As technology rapidly changes this perception is bound to change because wearable technology is setting a whole new precedent.
A recent report claims that today anyone wielding Google’s fancy eye wear computer, Google Glass, or a device capable of taking video can steal your pass code from either your smartphone or tablet. Using software from the cyber forensics experts at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell a thief can record and retrace your password from 10 feet away (3m).
For those with limited knowledge on Google Glass, it’s a face-mounted wearable computer that projects a screen on the top right hand corner of your vision. The device is currently in beta and sells for US$1,500, and mass deployment at this point seems imminent.
It is nothing short of groundbreaking and this could take privacy violation to a whole new front. Someone who’s (somehow) managed to get the US$1,500 device in Zimbabwe is capable of decoding your password and they don’t even need to flash your device. Breaching your privacy is now that simple.
The said team of experts also tested camcorders and cell phone cameras and came up with equally depressing results. A camcorder can trace your password from a whooping 140 feet away (46 m) with stunning accuracy.
Where the camcorder falls short is when you take a video, people can tell from the viewfinder that you’re doing something suspicious, it leaves you open to suspicion. Not so much when you’re using Glass because the display can only be used and seen by you.
Maybe this could be Karma’s call that things are escalating too quickly. Privacy has had its quirks ever since technology has gone mainstream. As Wired’s Nathan Jurgeson puts it “The murderers aren’t just the NSA and snooping corporations. We too have played a part in privacy’s demise”. This could be in part because technology has become so ubiquitous, so much we tend to forget how important it is to keep confidential information private.
Privacy is without doubt a controversial subject. It’s getting even harder to keep your credentials private by the day. There’s only so much we can do but truth is, phishers and phone phreaks will still be out there on the prowl. The least you can do is stop entering your pass code in public.