Updated on April 3, 2015
While there are those who have a sanguine view regarding the Internet of Things – huge data collection, real-time analysis of ebb and flow of the market economy – there are those who feel threatened by it. And they have every right to be.
While the IoT indeed has its significant importance in driving the economy forward, like decreasing the risks that business owners take, there is also the concern of security that revolves around it.
A worrying thought
As previously posted, IoT are objects that are embedded with sensors that sends data through a network where they are stored and collected. These objects aren’t just limited to electronic devices that you normally carry like your phone or tablet. This expands to cars, toys, appliances, and more.
As these sensors has the capacity to collect information on an individual, the data that are harvested can potentially be personal and intimate in nature, data that people may otherwise be reluctant to share. Moreover, through the bulk of info that is being gathered, companies can compile these data and form assumptions on a consumer that may be seen as invasive.
This is the concern of policy makers in the United States and around the world, debating how they can balance the security and privacy of individuals while ensuring that they’re not suppressing IoT’s progress and other innovative researches related to it.
Government concerns and solutions
On February 11 this year, a senate hearing was conducted by the US Senate Committee, Science, and Transportation titled “The Connected World: Examining the Internet of Things. The main concern was security and how they can protect the consumers from those who would exploit this new innovation.
One of the solutions offered is to educate the public about IoT, as well as transparency in the part of the industries involve. Designs regarding security should also be created in the outset rather than after certain problems arise. Foreseeing possible complications is vital, as experts said.
The Federal Trade and Commission has already confronted this issue back in 2013 involving TradeNet Inc. where the FTC brought down enforcement action against the company berating them that the loose security design led hackers to tap into internet-connected security cameras.
The FTC also provided additional suggestions for companies this year concerning security.
Minimizing the data collected on a consumer should be followed as collected information that large will likely attract hackers, as well as mountainous data can be used to form analysis that consumers will not anticipate.
Another suggestion is ensuring that when outside parties are going to be involved, it is the company’s responsibility to conduct surveys whether or not the said parties are capable of creating high security on their end and maintain it to protect the collected information.
The IoT is a doorway for a whole new level of tech and innovation, but as of now, it can be seen as a double edge sword. It’s up to those who are involve and to those responsible for protecting the right of the masses to blunt one side of that blade that’s facing the consumer, and ensure that Internet of Things will bring progress and not headaches and lawsuits.