We are increasingly becoming dependent on such technology without necessarily realizing the potentially damaging ramifications of these decisions. Data transmitted from one endpoint might carry almost no personal information on its own, but when a collection of endpoints is analyzed together, privacy can become a very real concern. Companies claim that they sell data collected from these devices in a large batch, so third parties shouldn’t be able to determine who you are, but data privacy commissioners are becoming increasingly concerned that this won’t always be the case. With the increase in data constantly being accumulated it could just be a matter of time before these third party companies are able to determine who you are, where you live, and personal characteristics of your lifestyle.
The most challenging and possibly most disconcerting element of all of this is that as of yet, we don’t fully know or understand all the possible ramifications of the IoT or where the future is heading. Based on an article from The Guardian, voice recognition built into some Smart TVs is allegedly recording private conversations and selling this information to third parties. No longer are you safe to speak privately in your home because “Big Brother” is listening. The Guardian compared these new concerns related to the IoTs as being all too similar to George Orwell’s famous 1984.
Despite privacy laws already in place to protect citizens from this kind of third-party sale in countries like Canada and the UK, it’s not enough. Somehow, the people need to be made aware of what information is being transmitted through their devices and whether or not they’re ok with that. If not, citizens will have to be the ones to speak up and demand increased transparency and control over the data they share. Otherwise, legislation just ends up wagging its finger at companies and telling them they’re in the wrong, or perhaps even worse than that, becomes one of those third party buyers themselves.
For more information regarding the Internet of things and the security concerns stemming from the challenges around privacy, view Part II in our series tomorrow. For more specific help related to your own concerns contact Revision Legal’s Internet attorneys through the form on this page or call 855-473-8474.
Image credit to Flickr user Alan Cleaver