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‘Personal Privacy’ Section Makes First Appearance at CES

For the first time at CES, there's a section devoted to "personal privacy.” Like the fitness wearables of last year, privacy products are gaining ground in this new age of cloud sharing and connectedness.

Even in this post-Snowden era, companies are pushing consumers to be more connected to one another through their devices. At CES 2015, Samsung said that by 2017, 90 percent of all its devices will be Internet-enabled, and more companies are still touting the internet of things, leaving consumers vulnerable if they choose to adopt. But for the first time at CES, Motherboard’s Kaleigh Rogers reports, there’s a section devoted to “personal privacy.” Like the fitness and health wearables of last year, privacy products are gaining ground in this new age of cloud sharing and connectedness.

Aaron Zar, CEO of Silent Pocket, showed off his wallets, cases, and clutches that block Wi-Fi, RFID, cellular, Bluetooth, and GPS signals–basically a Faraday cage. This allows users to drop their smartphones into these cases and go off the grid until they’re taken back out.

Zar spoke to Motherboard, expressing his value for technology, but also the ability for consumers to control when it gets turned off:

“People value their privacy—that’s what the US was founded on—and there’s no need to lose sight of that. I love technology. I’m all about progress and wearables and everything, but why not have something in your daily life that allows you to disconnect for whatever reason: privacy, security, your lifestyle, whatever.”

It’s not just about personal privacy, but protection as well. Information can be stolen with just a swipe from a person with a passing reader and people want to know they’re pocket isn’t going to get picked. Companies see an opportunity to offer users extra layers of security through these products—things that already have encryption built-in.

Networks, like Tor, already help to bring secure, anonymous browsing to the web, and groups, like The Guardian Project, aim to bring open-source, secure apps that let you talk and text privately. Likewise, Vysk, a newcomer to CES, was honored with an Innovation Award for its encrypted apps.

Lisa Shaw, Vysk’s Vice President of Marketing, spoke to Rogers about the company’s work:

“The level of awareness is raising. It’s going to take a little bit more time here in the states because the first reaction is ‘I have nothing to hide.’ I don’t either, but if when I go into my home and I’m watching TV at night, I pull the shades. I don’t want people to watch me.”

The hope is that consumers will vote with their dollar in order to support this growing option of tech products that seek to protect and secure our rights.

Read more at Motherboard

Photo Credit: Shutterstock


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