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).
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.