CES 2020: Why Privacy Is A Big Factor?


CES, which is synonymous with gadget launches, had something different in discussions this year. The mounting scrutiny from regulators and consumers over how major companies handle personal data and uphold privacy has been a debatable topic now and was discussed at the event.

Privacy At CES 2020

Privacy At CES 2020

Several companies have emphasized user privacy including tech giants like Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon. Google, for instance, announced two new voice commands for people to control their privacy with Assistant. Now users can simply say "Hey Google, delete everything I said to you this week" to delete their data.

Apple, on the other hand, returned to CES 2020 after 28 years. Back in 1992, former CEO John Sculley introduced Newton personal digital assistant. This year, Apple didn't debut any product, instead, spoke about privacy, which has been a strong marketing tool for the company. Jane Horvath, Apple's global privacy senior director represented the company.

Facebook, in contrast, has been the epicenter of privacy concerns since the Cambridge Analytica fiasco. Erin Egan, Facebook's chief privacy officer for policy represented the company to highlight the privacy measures on the social media platform, like storing and sharing data.

Privacy: The Big Factor

Privacy: The Big Factor

Considering how tech companies have faced severe backlash over privacy and data concerns, it's high time that privacy becomes a central issue. Google, Amazon, Facebook, among others have come under scrutiny on how they use people's data and push targeted ads.

The privacy debate at CES 2020 also included Rebecca Slaughter, a Democratic commissioner at the Federal Trade Commission and Susan Shook, Procter & Gamble's global privacy officer. As the two main debaters, Apple and Facebook spoke in depth about the privacy measures adopted by the companies.

On one hand, Facebook vouched that it has privacy measures just like Apple. But Facebook's business model relies on user data, whereas Apple's revenue core is from gadget sales. At the same time, Apple also uses data from Siri in a bid to improve its artificial intelligence technology.

Is Your Data Safe?

Is Your Data Safe?

The number of data breaches and privacy hacks has been skyrocketing. But the worst part is that the breaches are never brought to light until much later. Often time, our data is leaked and sold on the dark web. Take for instance the Disney+ accounts, the credentials were hacked and sold on the dark web a few hours after the service launched.

Luckily, there are plenty of tools online that can check if your data is under risk. Have I Been Pwned, Breach Alarm, Securi SiteCheck, and other such sites help to check if the data is safe. At the same time, users need to bear in mind to check an app's access, history, and permissions. The security settings on the apps are another way to ensure your data is safe.

Privacy was a debatable topic at last year's CES too. However, this year, the topic has taken a different route. With all countries jotting down data and privacy checks, tech companies are demanded to protect the user data. Predictably, 2020 might have more such discussions on privacy and user data protection.

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