You may or may not be aware of it but your smartphone's recording a lot about you and sending its data to a server somewhere for cataloging.
It can be pervasive, persistent and of course, ad companies will want more of your consumer behavior data to make marketing more efficient. On the other hand, some parties may have malicious motives to snoop on your phone for espionage and data theft purposes.
If you or your company is looking for ways to guard your data against trackers, espionage and data collectors, well, this Russian company may just have what you need.
InfoWatch's Taiga Phone
InfoWatch, a privately-held Russian security company, has unveiled a new smartphone that will prevent third-parties and apps from snooping on you.
Called the Taiga Phone, it is meant for the user's utmost privacy, similar to the Blackphone released a few years back.
The Taiga Phone runs on special InfoWatch firmware - a customized version of Android, which was designed to still let apps run but stops them from tracking and collecting data from its users.
The phone also has a built-in manager that gives an administrator, for example, a company's IT department, full control over what apps will be allowed on the phone and what data can be accessed or shared.
— AKKet (@AKKet_com) September 23, 2017
The Taiga, named after the cold and isolated northern forests of Siberia, is being advertised as a corporate "surveillance-proof" phone since its privacy features will prevent companies like Google, other third-party trackers, and spies from collecting data usage.
“Most smartphone apps collect certain data on users and send it to outside servers,” said Natalya Kaspersky, head of InfoWatch. “When people use personal phones at work, their corporate emails, documents and job-related photos come under threat of being -- maliciously or accidentally -- leaked to third parties.”
If Natasha Kaspersky's name sounds familiar to you, well it should. She co-founded security software company Kaspersky Lab and ran it before her divorce from her partner Eugene Kaspersky.
Kaspersky Lab is the same company whose software is under scrutiny in the U.S. right now for its alleged ties with the Russian government.
Note: Kaspersky Lab was an advertiser on The Kim Komando Show in 2016. Click here to read Kim's special statement on Kaspersky software.
According to InfoWatch, the Taiga Phone is now in the final stages of production. The first 50,000 units, manufactured in China, will be delivered to employees of Russian companies co-owned by the state. The company is also eyeing markets in Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates where InfoWatch offices have been opened.
Although it's designed primarily for the corporate market, consumers who want to get their hands on the Taiga Phone should expect to pay at least 12,000 to 15,000 rubles, equivalent to around $260.
It's still uncertain if the Taiga phone will make it to the U.S market, but even if it does, I think the big question is, despite all its anti-spying features, would you trust it?
What do you think? Is the Russian Taiga "surveillance-proof" phone a great idea? Drop us a comment.