Commentary

Smart, Connected Devices Open More Doors To Personal Networks

The Internet of Things will cause countless new connections to many devices.

There will be devices for monitoring, sensing, anticipating and measuring.

Internet-connected devices in the home typically tap into that home’s network, the same one that often provides Wi-Fi for the family, along with Web access, TV service and even telephone service to those who still have a landline.

The new and coming connected objects join this network, so that devices can constantly and easily communicate and coordinate with each other.

But some of the connected devices can unwittingly allow access to that actual home network from someone outside the house.

There have been various incidents, ranging from Barbie dolls that enable Siri-like interactions via the cloud to televisions that can capture private conversations in a living room, as I’ve written about here (Privacy in a World of Always On).

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Even the U.S. government may be getting into the act, with James Clapper, director of national intelligence, in recent testimony before Congress, suggesting that intelligence services may use The Internet of Things for identification, surveillance, monitoring, location tracking or to gain access to networks or user credentials.

There’s even an IoT search engine (Shodan) that tracks Internet-connected devices.

Anyone using the search engine already can tap into many unprotected webcam’s around the world and see what the camera sees (you do have tape over the built-in camera on your laptop, right?).

The connection of billions of smart devices has the promise of creating transformative consumer experiences driven by rapid and massive data flow.

The challenge will be to keep all the data and access to the devices where initially intended.

 

2 comments about "Smart, Connected Devices Open More Doors To Personal Networks".
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  1. Doc Searls from ProjectVRM, February 12, 2016 at 11:03 a.m.

    The only "transformative consumer experience" that matters is one of personal independence and control of one's own data and one's own stuff. Approximately 0% of the jive around the Internet of Things today is about that, however. Mostly it's about surveillance and marketing guesswork further intruding themselves into our lives, on vectors of connected stuff controlled by remote corporate and government intelligence agencies with zero interest in our privacy and absolute interest in spying on us. On our side there is no market demand for that.

    Until we get the true Internet of Things — http://www.linuxjournal.com/content/true-internet-things — we'll just have more delusional BS.

  2. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, February 12, 2016 at 11:36 a.m.

    Agree. Doc, that will have to be part of the "value" exchange. Great piece at the link, thanks for sharing. Still a ways to go to reach The Internet of Everything.

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