The controversy of the house arrest of Huawei's chief financial officer in Canada at the behest of the United States has turned the spotlight on the Chinese behemoth and the accusations that its communication equipment contain "backdoors" (China warns US, Canada over extraditing Huawei CFO; Jan 23).
Backdoors refer to spyware embedded into networking equipment, such as switches and routers.
They are the essential gears that allow computer users to send e-mails and instant messages.
Besides back-end equipment, Huawei's smartphones have also been called into suspicion.
This system is something that has been around for a long time.
Historically, operating systems have been surreptitiously sending information out of the computers everyone has been using.
According to Microsoft, the information was used to improve user experience and make better products so that the company can better serve its customers.
With data privacy and protection in the spotlight these days, manufacturers and app developers know that it is easy to demand privacy rights and, thus, make their products a little more compliant and allow users to turn them off.
Nonetheless, there may still be concerns, but as technologies creep deeper into our lives, we have to adapt to the new normal.
It is important that we practise basic cyber hygiene, no matter the company.
Tan Kar Quan