Finland’s data protection watchdog is investigating Nokia phones’ owner HMD Global after reports claimed that its devices mysteriously sent data to Chinese servers.
“The probe follows a report by Norway’s public broadcaster NRK in which it claimed to have proof that Nokia phones are transmitting sensitive information to China based on a tip from a Nokia owner.
“The man in question, Henrik Austad, said he’d been monitoring the traffic from his Nokia 7 only to find it was sending unencrypted information to a Chinese server while switched on. The sensitive data included his location, as well as the SIM card number and the phone’s serial number,” the Engadget reported late on Thursday.
The phone was sending unencrypted, readable data that easily identifies the phone (IMEI and MAC), its SIM and network connections.
Notably, whenever data is secretly being sent to a server in China, it leads to conspiracy theories. Even more so, when the domain for that server, in this a certain vnet.cn, is owned by China Telecom, one of the state-controlled network operators in the country.
The outbreak that originated in Wuhan, China has quickly caused a crisis across the world. The virus has already been announced to pose a worldwide threat, but the biggest risk groups are the countries located close to China.
The toll has not been limited to those infected by the virus. The entire economy of the world is currently going through a major change, since China and its neighboring countries, including Australia, are such important players in the world trade. All the flights going in and out of China have been canceled and traveling, in general, has become much more dangerous, hence much less popular. The scope of the damages caused by the coronavirus has already stunted the economy of the region.
Economic losses for Australia
According to economists, Australia could lose as much as $1 billion due to this outbreak. The tourism sector has taken the biggest hit with these changes. The outbreak happened during the Chinese New Year, which is usually a huge time for international travel, but because of this outbreak, the traveling is limited, causing the countries that usually see a lot of action in ticket sales, a major loss. Even though 99% of coronavirus cases are registered in China, there are some singular cases outside of the country, in Australia as well, so the traveling is actually quite difficult, with some airlines completely shutting down their flights to prevent the virus from spreading.
What is also affecting China is that they have suspended all the trading, and for a lot of countries, especially for Australia, for which China is an extremely important trading partner, the access to a lot of imported goods has been limited.
The world has experienced outbreaks of a similar scale two times, during the swine flu (H1N1 Flu) in 2009, and SARS 2003, also originating from China. But this time around, having had experience with SARS, China reacted much more quickly than in the previous case, hopefully ensuring the better prevention of international contamination, but coronavirus is difficult to diagnose because it does not immediately show up, with varying symptoms, so a person could be carrying a virus without even knowing it for two weeks.
The effects on the entertainment industry
The outbreak has affected the businesses and services that operate in public areas, but most of all it is the entertainment industry that has suffered, because amidst the outbreak, not only do people have no time for these kinds of activities, but also most of them require being around a lot of people in smaller spaces.
Australia has one of the most famous gambling scenes, with two outstanding leaders in this industry located there, The Crown and Star, who rely on rich gamblers coming in from China. So as on mainland China it is illegal to gamble the VIP gamblers come in Australia to get access to online gambling for real money and play here online pokies games. These establishments are already experiencing huge losses. The USB forecast even went on to say that these casinos will likely see a 50% drop in their income because of the outbreak. These casinos are a tourist destination as well, and considering the dangers that come with flying in the regions around China, these casinos are bound to have a pretty rough quarter.
The airline companies will also experience huge losses these following weeks and since we don’t know whether there will be a solution anytime soon, and how bad the coronavirus can get, these estimations could really grow, causing even bigger disruptions. The exact numbers could change in a matter of weeks, depending on how the virus behaves, but one thing is clear, the outbreak has greatly affected the economies around the world, and especially in the region. Australia is already recovering from the terrible bushfires that have destroyed a lot of Australia’s wildlife and facilities.
Now in addition to that, the country is experiencing the consequences of the virus outbreak and is feeling the results of the outbreak on its economy and financial sector, with tourism and entertainment, two for the huge parts of the Australian economy, taking the biggest hit.