Before letting an IoT device into your business or home, consider what data is being collected and where it is going.
There’s a lot of buzz about the Internet of Things (IoT), but people aren’t quite sure what to think of it. Back in fall 2016, there was a big attack on an Internet service provider in which a bunch of IoT devices became a botnet and made much of the Internet unavailable. It was a big moment that made people question the security of IoT. And although security risks are getting the headlines right now, and should certainly be considered, the bigger risk with IoT is privacy.
It is going to be so cheap and so easy for manufacturers to put Wi-Fi-connected chips into practically every device we use in our homes and businesses that IoT will become hard to avoid. Combine low costs with the incentives that companies have to collect data on user behavior, and things start to feel creepy. For example, imagine your oven, your refrigerator, or your microwave has data-collecting chips in it, purporting to provide a benefit to you if the device is connected to the Internet (your incentive). The cost is next to nothing for the manufacturer to collect the usage data, from the time of day you use it to how long you use it or what’s being prepared, and combine it with information you may have voluntarily provided when you signed up, such as what city you live in and your household income. People aren’t going to take notice of this until something bad happens — and I predict that it will.
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