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天遠律師事務所

這是一間深研科技與商務的事務所,我們精通產業生態及法律實務,承辦過的案件亦常受社會矚目。

我們小而精,所以慎選客戶。

擁有20多年執業經驗、同時投資管理多家科技公司的主持律師,始終逐一把關每個委任案件,團隊亦時時設身處地,協助客戶以最經濟的手段達成商務目標。 天遠深信,空談法律規定毫無意義!

htc仆街再一次:軟體捅漏洞.客戶個資如糞土!

2013 年 02 月 24 日

2013.2.24

明亮之星,早晨之子啊,你何竟從天墜落?你這攻敗列國的,何竟被砍倒在地上?【聖經.以賽亞書第14章第12節】

這句話,恰似htc的寫照。

短暫的成功,讓htc從上到下閃爍著驕矜與自滿。也就因此,屢次踐踏股東權益不說,到最近一份Federal Trade Commission(美國聯邦貿易委員會)的調查結果公布,我們才知道這家公司竟然連客戶的個資保護,都膽敢不當一回事!

由於htc擅自移除了Android及Windows Mobile裡的個資保護機制,以致於手機使用者的電話號碼、簡訊內容、瀏覽紀錄、所在位置、信用卡及銀行交易等等極度敏感的資料,都能輕易被駭客取得;更不可思議的,是連自己與他人的通話內容,也因htc將安全機制移除,而可以被竊錄!FTC消費者保護局的資深律師Lesley Fair表示「這家公司在設計產品時,根本不把資安放在眼裡;它不測試自己手機軟體上潛在的安全弱點、不遵循在撰寫程式時為業界通用的安全規範、而當對其漏洞提出警告時還根本不予理會…」(“The company didn’t design its products with security in mind,” Lesley Fair, a senior lawyer in the commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, wrote in a blog post. “HTC didn’t test the software on its mobile devices for potential security vulnerabilities, didn’t follow commonly accepted secure coding practices and didn’t even respond when warned about the flaws in its devices.”)

htc逼不得已,只好同意FTC的要求,在往後20年間,其手機都必須接受獨立專業機構的資安檢查。

我們不知道嚴凱泰和王雪紅究竟交情深到什麼程度,得公開痛罵Apple的使用者。現在htc蔑視手機個資保護的醜聞曝了光,恐怕用宏達電的人,才會赫然發現自己在莫名其妙之下所有敏感個資都被惡意軟體公開。

那怎麼辦?首先,法務部及各縣市政府都該站出來。個人資料保護法第22條第1-4項規定「…政府為執行資料檔案安全維護…或其他例行性業務檢查而認有必要或有違反本法規定之虞時,得派員攜帶執行職務證明文件,進入檢查,並得命相關人員為必要之說明、配合措施或提供相關證明資料」、「…政府為前項檢查時,對於得沒入或可為證據之個人資料或其檔案,得扣留或複製之。對於應扣留或複製之物,得要求其所有人、持有人或保管人提出或交付;無正當理由拒絕提出、交付或抗拒扣留或複製者,得採取對該非公務機關權益損害最少之方法強制為之」、「…政府為第一項檢查時,得率同資訊、電信或法律等專業人員共同為之」、及「對於第一項及第二項之進入、檢查或處分,非公務機關及其相關人員不得規避、妨礙或拒絕」。

其次,檢調與司法也有任務。由於htc將原須保留給使用者、對於讓特定之app蒐集其個資之同意權剝奪,還涉及個資法第5條「個人資料之蒐集、處理或利用,應尊重當事人之權益,依誠實及信用方法為之,不得逾越特定目的之必要範圍,並應與蒐集之目的具有正當合理之關聯」、第19條「非公務機關對個人資料之蒐集或處理,除第六條第一項所規定資料外,應有特定目的,並符合…法律有明文規定…與當事人有契約關係…經當事人書面同意…」、第29條「非公務機關違反本法規定,致個人資料遭不法蒐集、處理、利用或其他侵害當事人權利者,負損害賠償責任。但能證明其無故意或過失者,不在此限」之違反;除了民事賠償責任外,更可能觸犯第41條第1、2兩項「違反…第十九條…規定…足生損害於他人者,處二年以下有期徒刑…」、「意圖營利犯前項之罪者,處五年以下有期徒刑…」之刑責。

htc從台灣之光,變成台灣之恥。政府倘若再不對宏達電依法進行上述調查,確認其已經為所有賣出的手機填補軟體漏洞、而杜絕個資被盜的風險的話,就是怠忽職務!值此同時,我們非但不建議買htc的手機,恐怕還應該暫時考慮不再打電話給htc的手機使用者。您總不希望原本以為只有天知地知你知我知的商業會談或私密傳情,都變成了茶餘飯後的談話頭吧?

【另可參考FTC官方文件PCMagazine之報導】

HTC Settles Privacy Case Over Flaws in Phones

[New York Times, By EDWARD WYATT, February 22, 2013]

WASHINGTON — More than 18 million smartphones and other mobile devices made by HTC, a Taiwanese company that is one of the largest sellers of smartphones in the United States, had security flaws that could allow location tracking of users against their will and the theft of personal information stored on their phones, federal officials said Friday.

The flaws affected HTC’s Windows-based phones. The Federal Trade Commission charged HTC with customizing the software on its Android- and Windows-based phones in ways that let third-party applications install software that could steal personal information, surreptitiously send text messages or enable the device’s microphone to record the user’s phone calls.

The action is the first attempt by the commission to police a manufacturer of mobile devices. As smartphones and tablets become a common way for consumers to shop, bank and chat online, personal information and privacy will need to be guarded.

HTC America, based in Bellevue, Wash., agreed to settle the civil suit with the commission by issuing software patches that close the security holes, and by creating a security program that will be monitored by an independent party for the next 20 years. The F.T.C. does not have the authority to assess fines in consumer protection cases.

“The company didn’t design its products with security in mind,” Lesley Fair, a senior lawyer in the commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, wrote in a blog post. “HTC didn’t test the software on its mobile devices for potential security vulnerabilities, didn’t follow commonly accepted secure coding practices and didn’t even respond when warned about the flaws in its devices.”

An HTC official said Friday that the company had already started to update its software and distribute it to users of some, but not all, of the affected phones.

“Working with our carrier partners, we have addressed the identified security vulnerabilities on the majority of devices in the U.S. released after December 2010,” Sally Julien, an HTC spokeswoman, said in a statement. “We’re working to roll out the remaining software updates now and recommend customers download them once available.”

“Privacy and security are important,” the statement added, “and we are committed to improving practices that help safeguard our customers’ devices and data.”

The trade commission charged that the security flaws resulted from HTC’s modifying the operating system software used on most of the affected phones. In the case of Android, created by Google, the system is designed to protect sensitive information and phone functions through what is known as a permission-based security model.

That requires a user, when installing an application that is not a standard part of the operating system, to be notified and to agree that the application could gain access to certain information or functions.

HTC, however, preinstalled certain apps on its phones in a way that, in addition to preventing consumers from removing them, disabled the permission-based model and allowed newly installed apps to have immediate access to personal data.

“The analogy isn’t exact,” wrote Ms. Fair of the F.T.C., “but it’s like giving a friend the combination to a safe only to find out he’s handing it over to anyone who asks.”

That security hole could, for example, let the rogue software secretly record users’ phone conversations or track their location.

Flaws in the security system could also give third-party apps access to phone numbers, contents of text messages, browsing history and information like credit card numbers and banking transactions. Those flaws also affected HTC phones that used Windows-based operating systems.

While HTC’s actions introduced numerous security vulnerabilities to its phones, a commission official said it was not clear how many users experienced illegal incursions into their phones and personal information.

The flaw in the company’s phones has been known since at least 2011. HTC acknowledged the problems at that time and developed software patches for at least some of the deficiencies that year.

But the problems were far from minor. The F.T.C. said that text-message toll fraud, in which a hacker causes a phone to send text messages to a number that charges the user for delivery of the message, “is one of the most common types of Android malware,” or malicious software.

HTC’s user manuals either said or implied that a user was protected against malware because of the permission-based security, the commission said.

The commission will collect public comments on the proposed remedies for 30 days, after which it will decide whether to formally carry out the order. If HTC subsequently violates the order’s restrictions and requirements, it faces civil penalties of up to $16,000 a violation.

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