Skip to main content

Student’s book on private sector espionage published

Monday 16 April 2018

AN EYE-OPENING book uncovering the role of espionage and intelligence in digital business has been published by an undergraduate student.

Debora Barbosa’s Knowledge is Profit: The Role of Intelligence and Espionage in Business looks at how technology, social media and crypto-currency has and will affect our privacy.

The 22 year-old is a fourth year student in Business Management at Salford Business School.

Since the social media data of millions was sold to Cambridge Analytica, the argument has risen whether personal information is being used unethically, even for game-changing events such as influencing the US presidential election or the UK Brexit referendum.

Debora, originally from Brazil, looks at how the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram gather our likes and online habits and sell them on to advertisers.

Decide: Privacy or communication.

She says: “As Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest continue to monetise their users, the future of social media will become even more personalised.

“Even though we give apps access to our phones, contacts and other personal information, we deeply care about our privacy and communicating with our friends.

“We must therefore choose between communication and privacy during these modern intrusive times.”

Listening to us.

And she argues in her book that smart technology can make our homes less private, with devices such as Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home now capable of listening to user’s conversations, by identifying a trigger word. 

“The small print of privacy policies for Samsung’s new smart TVs states that that customers’ conversations may be recorded and “transmitted” to “third parties”.

“As long as something can be connected to the internet, it will have to opportunity to spy on you for either security reasons or commercial purposes.

“We see that data will become the crude oil of the 21st century that will fuel the technology of the next industrial revolution.”

Lecturer Dr Christos Papanagnou said: “Debora was very enthusiastic about her topic when we first met to discuss what sort of research she wanted to do.  

“Her excellent analytical and research skills became evident to me at the very beginning of the Applied Business Research and Analysis course. I think her work really deserved to be published.”

'Knowledge is Profit: The Role of Intelligence and Espionage in Business' is available here.

Find out more

Harrison Taylor

0161 295 4779