WikiLeaks Vault 7 report names brands. The report card.

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

9 March 2017

Apple and the rest will be fine, Samsung at risk

Afraid to use your iPhone now? Afraid to watch your smart TV? The WikiLeaks Vault 7 report says the CIA secretly monitors people through their internet-connected devices. That may make you think twice about using them.

But, for most of the devices, I doubt it.

“People don’t like change, and most will not give up their devices. But new purchases? That’s where brand loyalty comes in.”

 

WikiLeaks Vault 7Let’s put aside for the moment the politics and legality of this action for now. Let’s examine it through the lens of users and the tech companies themselves.

What does this do for the tech brands, such as Apple, Samsung (specifically named in the report), Microsoft, Amazon, Google and Facebook (which owns WhatsApp)? Will we stop using them? Are we living in a world where we are accepting the situation as status quo?

Let’s examine the tech companies themselves. Most of them, especially Apple, say that updating your devices is the best way to protect yourself. New security patches are usually installed with each update.

That’s sound advice but it doesn’t completely make you feel comfortable. Security was once a table stake in the tech industry. But it’s not anymore, so consumers will vary their loyalty based on the brands.

Apple will be fine. We are too emotionally connected to that brand and its devices. What? You think having an Android is better?

Amazon, especially its Echo product? There’s less emotional attachment here, but still strong enough to prevent a fire sale. (Alexa being a witness in a murder trial, though, is worth monitoring.)

WikiLeaks Vault 7 report will damage Samsung

Samsung is the one to worry. The WikiLeaks Vault 7 report named Samsung more than any brand. Turns out the CIA can hear you even if the smart TV is turned off. Yikes.

Samsung could brave this storm IF it had an emotional brand that bound it to us. Like most TV manufacturers, it doesn’t.

In fact, when we shop for TVs, it goes like this. We conduct some Internet research. Go to a store. We look at the TVs. We choose the one that looks best, is the right size and has a reasonable price.

That’s it. There are few who say, “I’m getting a Samsung.” Therefore, a brand like Samsung, without the emotional connection to consumers, spouts a hurdle to adoption. We will now say, “Oh, the Samsung looks good, but so does the Sony. WikiLeaks said the government spies on us through Samsung. I’ll take Sony.”

People don’t like change, and most will not give up their devices. But new purchases? That’s where brand loyalty comes in. Apple will be fine. We’ll keep buying its products. Amazon, Microsoft and Google are good too. WhatsApp will take a hit. But we all know Facebook can be monitored by, well, anyone.

Samsung? It’s too easy to pass that brand by when you’re shopping without the WikiLeaks Vault 7 report. Now? It’s even easier.

See more posts in the following related categories: Amazon Apple Facebook Google Microsoft Samsung WikiLeaks

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