Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Internet of Things

"The Internet of Things" is now finding its way into mainstream conversation!

Once a term used mostly by MIT professors and those steeped in the privacy and security field, "The Internet of Things" is now finding its way into mainstream conversation. Loosely defined as the practice of equipping all objects and people in the world with wirelessly connected, identifying, computing devices, the term represents what could be a hugely transformational way of life.  

At one time, "The Internet of Things" probably sounded like science fiction; but today, it's becoming very real. Here are a few examples of where you can literally see, hear and almost feel this phenomenon occurring in some very ordinary places:
  • TRENDnet marketed its SecurView video cameras as "secure." In fact, the cameras had faulty software that allowed anyone with the cameras' Internet addresses to hear and see what the cameras were capturing. In fact, more than 700 were hacked, creating live-streams of private locations and private moments online for the world to hear and see.      
  • Google possesses possibly more data about consumers' online activities than any other organization (Facebook, Microsoft, IBM would probably be close behind.). Now it seems, the Internet giant is on track to know as much about your offline behavior. The company recently purchased Nest, which makes "smart" thermostats and smoke/fire alarms that track indoor-activity data. They have stated they plan to create many more of these types of smart gadgets. How much personal information will Nest share with Google, and how will that information be used?
  • A range of smart-home and smart-car technology allows consumers the ability to control access and features of their houses and vehicles. But who else might gain the same level of control? And what will happen when "smart" cars and appliances can function on their own without human intervention? As this Guardian article contends, they will certainly be tempting to hackers.

1 comment:

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