Imagine this: You're walking down the street when a stranger kindly relieves you of your Gucci purse and iPhone 4S. Being the hoodlum that he is, he’s going to sell the purse and go through the phone and steal all the shady pictures and top secret information you have in there. Now imagine if you could prevent that by causing your phone to self-destruct, à la Mission: Impossible. Would you?
This self-destruction process is a concept Aatma Studios is imagining for future Apple devices. Even if your iPhone is password protected and its data is backed up on iCloud, chances are you’re still not at ease with the thought of all the information on your phone being accessed by somebody else. Aatma Studios is taking precautions to a whole new level. According to this concept, illustrated in the video below, three failed logins will cause Siri to announce that she is about to “disable” the phone — and this is no mere threat, for within seconds, the phone shuts down and the screen cracks.
Anticlimactic perhaps, but effective in making its point about the security of information today, where few are the people who do not own a smartphone. Information security has been in the news almost constantly since the tech world discovered security loopholes in two mobile operating giants — namely, Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. Both admitted that they allowed apps to access a far greater amount of the smartphone user’s information than anybody realized.
The reports prompted Apple to announce that from now on, app developers will need explicit permission from users to access such data. Similar reports in the news caused Google to assure the public that they would also refrain from automatically collecting private data. In this, smartphones are like toddlers. As toddlers grow up, they learn that certain information is only meant for certain people (or at least they should). With the recent assurances from Apple and Google, it seems the lesson has indeed been learned. Then again, how much do we, as simpleton users, really know about what these tech giants are really up to?
While the Siri self destruct is simply an idea at the moment, it does provide some interesting food for thought. The barrage of apps and mobile technology doesn’t seem to be coming to an end anytime soon, which just means that companies will need to up their security game just as quickly and efficiently if they are to retain their popularity with users. Hopefully, the situation won’t deteriorate to a point where users will have to rely on destroying their devices to keep their information private. But if it does, woe betide the person who pocket-dials three wrong logins.