Public surveillance has been a hot button topic in China as technology like facial recognition becomes more and more advanced. For ETF investors, it gives them an opportunity to take a closer look at cybersecurity-focused funds that could offer future gains as the technology advances.
Per a CNBC report, facial recognition tech “has been the subject of much controversy due to concerns over public surveillance. With that in mind, an executive at one leading Chinese firm deploying the technology says that getting it right will be something of a balancing act, with considerations around data privacy on the one hand and public security issues on the other.”
“Privacy is one of the major, very sensitive issues nowadays given that the data is increasing very rapidly,” Candy Wu, vice president of Guangzhou, China-based CloudWalk, said during a panel at CNBC’s East Tech West event.
“We don’t have a perfect solution nowadays … I think it’s a kind of balance,” Wu added, saying that both public and private entities would have to consider the data protection and public safety issues involved.
Nonetheless, the facial recognition and other cybersecurity technology is opening up investment from firms who are eager to capitalize on China’s tech adoption.
“In terms of our investment, in terms of our entrepreneurial ability, we’re definitely focused on this shift in the Chinese economy towards more consumer-oriented investment,” said Bryan Bachner, investment director at China Everbright Limited.
A Pair of Cybersecurity ETFs to Spy On
As China looks to wean itself off dependence on U.S. technology, security-focused ETFs can benefit further, such as the First Trust NASDAQ Cybersecurity ETF (NYSEArca: CIBR) and the ETFMG Prime Cyber Security ETF (NYSEArca: HACK).
First up, CIBR seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield f an equity index known as the Nasdaq CTA Cybersecurity IndexSM. The index is comprised of securities of companies classified as “cyber security” companies by the CTA.
Next, HACK seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance of the Prime Cyber Defense Index. The index tracks the performance of the exchange-listed equity securities of companies across the globe that (i) engage in providing cybersecurity applications or services as a vital component of its overall business or (ii) provide hardware or software for cybersecurity activities as a vital component of its overall business.
As of Nov. 18. both funds are in the green YTD with CIBR up 27.83% and HACK up 21.89% per Yahoo Finance performance numbers.
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