Due to both the effects of the pandemic as well as other geopolitical events, including the war between Russia and Ukraine, there has been an increased demand and a critical shortage of a tiny-yet-powerful technology: Discrete semiconductors. But as more and more folks are stuck at home, another issue has arisen: Are semiconductors adding to the growing data privacy problem? As semiconductors become increasingly utilized in everyday devices, there is a growing concern that companies will download and store user information without their knowledge. Here’s what you need to know:
Given the discrete semiconductor shortage and the various supply chain issues that have resulted, it is more important than ever to be aware of what you’re buying where. Especially because previous predictions regarding the semiconductor shortage have proven incorrect (as recently as December, Deloitte was predicting that the shortage would last through 2023). Consequently, there will be more semiconductors in the market than ever before. Recent technological developments have made it possible for hardware, such as semiconductors, to store and transmit breached data. But don’t be fooled with the concern of a new security challenge. While semiconductor security is a new challenge, it requires the same set of strategies as most other cybersecurity issues.
As semiconductor use is ubiquitous across products and technologies, it is not a question of avoiding them altogether. Instead, your strategy needs to focus on staying vigilant about what information you upload and when. What does this look like in practice? When asked to input sensitive or personal information into a new piece of technology—either at home or in a commercial setting—think twice about whether that information is required to use the product. Similarly, try to avoid linking your pre-existing tech to any new or suspicious electronics if you can help it. As always, better safe than sorry.