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Spyware weary?

Digital spying has reached such a high level of sophistication, the odds of identifying culprits (if any) seem steep.

Digital spying has reached such a high level of sophistication, the odds of identifying culprits (if any) seem steep.Premium
Digital spying has reached such a high level of sophistication, the odds of identifying culprits (if any) seem steep.

The Pegasus spyware scandal that erupted in 2021 got fresh wind this week from Apple’s warning issued to some iPhone users in India that “state-sponsored" hackers could have possibly gained access to their data, chats, cameras and microphones. If so, then whatever these folks do with their devices can freely be snooped upon. 

While the notice admitted the possibility of it being a false alarm, given the number of opposition leaders who claimed to have got a tip-off from Apple, a political uproar was inevitable. The government, on its part, ordered a probe. Yet, digital spying has reached such a high level of sophistication, the odds of identifying culprits (if any) seem steep. Many users of web-linked devices operate on the assumption that they will be watched anyway by someone or another, despite technical assurances of privacy. 

The notion of supernatural surveillance has also been around for millennia. It’s easy to see how some people, weary of spyware news, are driven to shrug and carry on. Could privacy risks end up on a curve of diminishing outrage? To prevent that, Apple should reset its scans to minimize false-positive errors. Or has it already done that? 

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Published: 01 Nov 2023, 10:00 PM IST
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