NOW, COUNTRIES LIKE CHINA CAN SPY ON YOU THROUGH YOUR COFFEE MAKER?
So this isn’t the kind of possible news I ever find welcoming. The new and increasingly “smart” world of products is in many ways something to appreciate. They really do make things easier! Or, at least, they are fun for geeks and soon to be normal for everyone else younger. I tend to love new devices, and would either get them or pine for them. Well, until about 10 years ago. Now, I may feel a geeky twitch when I see something new. But I don’t pine anymore. And that has served me well, as I tend to avoid smart in technology whenever I can. And this is why! Because a new report raises the serious possibility that China is spying on you, using your coffee maker.
SMART COFFEE MAKERS CAN PROVIDE BAD STATE ACTORS WITH PLENTY OF DANGEROUS DATA
That seems entirely ridiculous. Right up until you consider how many internet-connected coffee makers are “Made in China.” As well as so much else. Like the MacBook I’m currently typing on. And Christopher Balding is an American researcher who has been focusing on this. It was his recent report that focused on the Kalerm coffee makers, made in Jiangsu, China. Balding makes it clear that China is making every effort to collect data for data’s sake. And Western consumers create, and broadcast (at least in their homes) a LOT of data. And with China making so many tech products sold all over the world, they have a unique potential access to putting data collecting Gremlins in the machines. Spying Gremlins.
COFFEE MAKER METADATA CAN PROVIDE PLENTY OF INFO ON ANYONE TO MAKE THEM ASSETS
But what kind of data does your coffee maker even know about you? Well, it’s the kind of metadata that says a lot, even if it looks innocuous at first. How much do you want anyone, anywhere, to know your name? And add to that either roughly or exactly where you live? Then, when do you drink your coffee every day? That’s the kind of thing intelligence services find… valuable. For most of us, who cares? Except, data can be stolen or sold. But enough data in any intelligence agency’s hands gives them the opportunity to influence you, target you, reward you, blackmail you, flatter or humiliate you.
Considering America’s last national election, do we really need any more dividing and conquering? My coffee maker is dumb, fortunately. But I may want to get a new French Press regardless.