A Gift for the Hackers is a documentary film that focuses on the lack of internet security. The film starts off with a question: “Increasingly devices like printers and scanners are being connected directly to the Internet. It’s all very convenient, but is it safe?”
“Is this your pin? Is this a letter you received from your bank?Do you have a HP e-Print scanner?” The young man answers yes to every question, stunned that all of his information was accessible on the internet for anyone who wanted to see it. And he’s not alone: the wealth of information available is staggering.
From shop owners whose security cameras can be watched and controlled remotely, to medical records and confidential documents for international companies like Unilever, Orange and KLM, it’s a bonanza for any would-be hackers.
While it would be simple for the IT firms who provide printers, scanners and software to make the system more secure, they don’t see it as their problem and argue that attending to basic safety protocols is a bit of a marketing nightmare. “There are people who know all about how this works, security-wise, but it’s too much trouble to explain all that.” One company went so far as to call consumers who didn’t know they had to change their passwords “idiots”. As the rate of technological change continues at a frightening pace, do technology companies have a duty to prevent our privacy being eroded?