PF Nov ’16 IoT benefits/privacy

Resolved: On balance, the benefits of the Internet of Things outweigh the harms of decreased personal privacy.

Remember: There is now an IoT folder. Also, the LD-Values folder has a Privacy subfolder that may be of use as well. Both are current through yesterday/Thursday evening.

There are four new articles since the last update – note particularly the Schneier article and the letter about medical devices.

If teams aren’t using the ability to hack the IoT on the con side, they should be. Bad design and poor software practices make the IoT vulnerable. There is an answer to that, though, using an automobile analogy.

I’m old enough to remember when cars didn’t have seatbelts. There were a lot of deaths from people either getting bounced around inside cars like squishable ping-pong balls, or getting thrown clear. And before auto safety glass was mandated, getting thrown from the car could involve a trip through jagged glass that would do a Veg-O-Matic proud. It was an ugly time.

The solution wasn’t to ban cars, it was to mandate safety glass and seatbelts, and later airbags (increasingly in multiple locations within a car). The same principle applies to IoT devices – fix them, and keep the benefits of the IoT. Better device design, and better software design, are both possible. (The comeback reply is that experience shows that everything connected to the Internet is hackable.)

For more on privacy, check the first two articles in this post on last year’s CX topic.


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