The Internet-of-Things (IoT) can do a lot of really cool stuff. We’re really only just starting to scratch the surface of the ways technology can simplify our lives, keep us informed, and make things more convenient. All of that comes with a healthy dose of apprehension, though, when it comes to security and privacy. In order for an IoT device to do what it does, it needs to know things about you that you might not want compromised or exposed to the public.
I wrote about the pros–and the cons that come with them–of the Internet-of-Things in this blog post:
Beneficial technology sometimes has unintended consequences. Sometimes products or services that make life simpler or more convenient also puts us at greater risk. As more devices monitor and track our lives, they also gather copious amounts of personal and sensitive data that could be compromised or exposed. The potential attack surface is exponentially greater when almost everything you touch is somehow collecting data or gathering information about you.
The Internet of Things
The Internet of Things has awesome potential. A thermostat, for example, is a simple device. It’s also a dumb device, more or less. It monitors the temperature of its immediate surroundings and triggers the air conditioning or heat to kick on when necessary to maintain a comfortable environment. But you don’t really need your home to be cooled or heated when you aren’t there.
So vendors came along and created a thermostat smart enough to track you, learn your patterns, and optimize your climate control for maximum comfort and efficiency. The trade-off is that these devices “know” when you’re home and when you’re not. If a burglar hacks into that data, they’ll be able to determine when the house will be empty.
Smart thermostats are just one example, though. Smartphones, wearable fitness devices, Internet-enabled refrigerators, and connected vehicles are all designed to optimize your experience and enhance your life in some way. But in order to do so, these devices and technologies must learn and know things about you. That is the second universal truth of technology: [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]The more information you’re willing to share, the better your experience will be.[/inlinetweet]
Read the full article on the RSA blog: The Creepy Factor of the ‘Internet of Things’.
Opinions of the Internet-of-Things, and privacy are often polarized. Where do you sit? Do you welcome the innovations of the Internet-of-Things with open arms, or are you too concerned about privacy to share the information necessary for IoT to provide any value? Share your thoughts on IoT and privacy in the comments.