Privacy and The Internet of Things
As our society’s technology is constantly evolving, many people expect to give up a little privacy in exchange for a lot of information. But people still have a limit on how much they want to share, and are reasonably apprehensive about technological solutions that seem to share too much. With the Internet of Things connecting many devices to a greater network in ways that were previously thought impossible, many end users have become even more skeptical. But do they have reason to worry?
With the array of sensors and connected devices that will be all around us, there will be a significant amount of information about common activities that will be captured. Still, just because this information is being captured doesn’t mean it’s going to be used in harmful ways. It is usually kept anonymous. Companies are taking this data to provide better service, they aren’t using it to directly impact your life in any that doesn’t have to do with using their product.
How companies are responding
What’s more, many of the more successful IoT companies are evaluating their services from the perspective of end users during each stage of development. They are ensuring that all privacy concerns are being addressed so that once the product is complete and ready to market, there are no surprises. A great way many companies are doing this is by striking a balance early in the design stage between reliability and privacy. They are making sure they only collect required data in a secure way to keep a user’s information as private as possible while still offering them the desired experience.
That’s actually why many consumers actually like giving the right kind of information so they have a better customer experience. They obviously don’t want sensitive information to be breached, but they will happily trade away certain data points about their experience using an IoT product if that data can help create a better experience for them.
With all that being said, it only takes one serious data breach to get consumers to worry about the possibility of personal data being used against them. However, these are very rare. With all the security measures that companies are taking to protect their customer data, you can be rest assured that all steps are being taken to ensure that your data isn’t being used against you. To double-check, simply ask the company what kind of security standards they’re using. It varies depending on the technology, but look up the industry standard and compare that to what your product uses just to be sure.
As a user in the IoT space, you will have to allow companies access to some of your data. But know that they will place a high priority on protecting your info because it’s in their best interest, since they would lose consumer trust with a data breach. They also shouldn’t be taking information that’s not related to your user experience. So if you want to be sure, just do research on the companies that are making your favorite IoT devices to make sure that your privacy is being respected. But know that with all this added connectivity comes a lot of added security, so you probably don’t have anything to worry about.