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本文摘要:What happens when the wave of encryption rippling through the personal technology world washes up against the realities of the data economy? 当个人科技产品世界引发的加密浪潮拍电影上数字化经济的现实时,不会再次发生什么情况?


What happens when the wave of encryption rippling through the personal technology world washes up against the realities of the data economy? 当个人科技产品世界引发的加密浪潮拍电影上数字化经济的现实时,不会再次发生什么情况? Most of the recent debate over the spread of encryption has centred on the implications for personal privacy and national security. Less has been said about business: in particular, what a greater use of encryption will mean for the usability of tech products and services, and for the business models that rely on capturing and extracting value from data. 近期环绕普及加密技术的辩论,主要集中于在加密之于个人隐私及国家安全性的意义,较较少牵涉到其在商业方面的影响。尤其是,加密技术的普遍用于对科技产品及服务的可用性、以及依赖从数据中挖出价值的商业模式来说意味著什么? This week, it was WhatsApp’s turn to push encryption deeper into everyday life, with the news that conversations between its 1bn users will be scrambled. WhatsApp, the Facebook-owned messaging app, has already run into problems in Brazil for not storing messages demanded by a court. Now, it will not be able to “read” real-time communications either. 这回再来WhatsApp让加密技术更加了解人们的日常生活——上周,有报导称之为,其10亿用户之间的对话内容将被加密。Facebook的这款通讯应用软件此前已在巴西纳吉上困难,原因是其并未按法院拒绝存储信息。现在,它也将无法“加载”动态对话了。

When the makers of mass-market products and services make a show of taking steps such as this to protect their users, it can shift expectations. Although Apple’s legal fight with the US government over an encrypted iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino killers ended inconclusively, it sent a clear message about the lengths the company would go to to protect its users. 当大众市场产品及服务的提供商蓄意展现出出要采行此类措施维护用户的姿态时,这可能会转变人们的希望。尽管苹果(Apple)与美国政府的法律之争——环绕圣贝纳迪诺枪击案凶手一部加密iPhone——已无果而惜,但这具体表达出有了苹果不遗余力维护用户的态度。At least at the device level, encryption is quickly becoming the norm. Amazon’s reversal last month over its latest Fire operating system proved the point. News that the software no longer encrypts data as a matter of course brought an instant outcry from privacy activists — forcing the company to backtrack hastily with a promise to restore the capability in a future update. 最少在设备层面上,加密正在很快沦为行业惯例。上个月,亚马逊(Amazon)环绕其近期Fire操作系统的态度大改变之后证明了这一点。

有关该软件仍然把数据加密作为理所当然的义务的新闻日后报导,马上引发了隐私维权人士的强烈抗议——被迫该公司匆忙转变态度,允诺在未来的改版版本中新的完全恢复加密技术。After delays, Google has also moved to default encryption in the most recent release of Android, its mobile operating system. Not that many of the world’s Android users will see the benefit in the short term: five months after the software’s release, only 2.6 per cent of Android phones are running the latest operating system, according to the company. 在数次延期后,谷歌(Google)也在近期公布的手机操作系统Android中配置文件使用加密功能。

并非很多Android用户都会在短期内看见加密的益处:根据谷歌的数据,在该版本公布5个月后,只有2.6%的Android手机运营了近期版本的操作系统。But this is only one side of the story. Few people would want to lock all their data into a single gadget. Besides the risk of loss, it would be to turn back the clock on one of the main benefits of cloud computing: accessing personal information from different devices. The San Bernardino terrorists also used Apple’s iCloud, even if the last time they backed up data from an iPhone was some seven weeks before last year’s shootings. 但是,这只是故事的一方面而已。没多少人想要把所有的信息都锁住在一台设备中。


除了遗失的风险,这还相等于让时光倒流到没云计算的时代——利用云技术,用户可以在有所不同设备上采访个人信息。贝纳迪诺枪击案中的恐怖分子也用苹果iCloud,虽然他们最后一次对iPhone数据展开备份是在枪击案再次发生前7周左右。Data in iCloud are encrypted — but, crucially, Apple has the keys, making it possible for courts to order it to hand over information. As a result, since its fight with the FBI, Apple has also been looking at how to put encrypted iCloud data beyond its own reach. 存储在iCloud的数据也是经过加密的——但是,关键是苹果掌控着iCloud的钥匙,所以法院可以命令苹果交还信息。

因此,自从与美国联邦调查局(FBI)抗争之后,苹果也在找寻将iCloud加密数据瓦解自己掌控的办法。There are good reasons, though, to think this drive towards strong encryption will reach a natural limit. Putting cloud-based data beyond the reach of the companies hosting it would limit its value. At the most basic level, it would mean users would not be able to recover their personal information if they forgot their passwords. 不过,我们有理由指出,这股朝着“强劲加密”发展的趋势将自然而然超过一个无限大。让云数据瓦解科技公司掌控的作法不会容许数据的价值。

最简单来说,这意味著一旦用户记得了密码,他们将无法寻回个人信息。Making information unreadable would also make it harder to tailor many online services. Personalisation is the great hope for a world awash with too much data. Shaping digital experiences relies on being able to analyse a user’s personal and behavioural information. 使数据不能读书也不会令其企业无法自定义在线服务。在弥漫着过于多数据的世界,个性化被抱有了相当大期望。

打造出数字化体验,依赖分析用户的个人数据和不道德信息。There are also powerful economic motivations for limiting encryption. As Harvard University’s Berkman Center said in a recent report , the advertising businesses of companies such as Google and Facebook rely on being able to target adverts based on what they know about their users. 还有强劲的经济动因承托着对加密技术加以容许。正如哈佛大学(Harvard University)伯克曼中心(Berkman Center)在最近一份报告中所说的那样,谷歌(Google)和Facebook等公司的广告业务依赖根据他们对用户的理解来针对性地投入广告。Many new types of data are also valued for their ability to be processed. For instance, the “internet of things” is founded on the idea of being able to collect, collate and analyse vast amounts of information thrown off by myriad smart objects. Besides sensors, many of these devices will have cameras and microphones: they will, in effect, be watching and listening. 很多新型数据也因为可以被加工而受到重视。

例如,“物联网”是基于对众多智能设备获释的大量数据展开搜集、整理和分析的理念而创建。除传感器外,很多智能设备将备有摄像头和麦克风:实质上,它们将享有看和听得的功能。It is no wonder that many in the tech industry reject the idea that the spread of encryption will make life harder for law enforcement, and instead argue that a “golden age of surveillance” is at hand. 不该很多科技行业人士坚称普及加密技术不会增大执法人员可玩性,忽略他们指出“监控的黄金时代”将要来临。


That is hardly a phrase guaranteed to instil confidence in their customers. But privacy concerns often take a back seat when new digital services bring greater convenience to users’ lives. A battle over encryption is set to rage in the coming years, but its impact on the broader data economy should not be overstated. 这不是一个不会给他们的用户带给信心的众说纷纭。但是,当新的数字化服务为用户的生活带给更加多便捷时,对隐私的忧虑往往不会靠边站。未来数年,加密之战预见不会就越演越烈,但是不应当高估这对数字化经济的影响。



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