speaking of smart phones
Posted at 23:02h, 29 Jul 2014 in List Archive by Bonnie Halper No Comments 135 Likes Share

Good morning, All,

Can we not call it the Internet of Thing? How about the Internet of Devices, or if we’re married to IoT, let’s be more specific and just call it the Internet of Tracking. Think that you’re going to sit this IoT out for a while? Or that it’s still a ways off? Have a smartphone? Welcome aboard! And speaking of smart phones, in case you missed it, Apple left a backdoor on every iOS device.

No, we’re not going the paranoid route/NSA/possible governmental next steps in the name of ‘security,’ yea, even in a world where a TSA agent doesn’t know that the District of Columbia is part of the US. But security and our personal information are always of concern to us, especially in a world where networks are not secure – and more and more of the devices of our everyday lives are being connected.

No, we’re talking about the other kind of security. Your data and information. How many times have retailers had the credit card information of millions of their customers stolen? It would be great to have our refrigerator tell us that we’re low on milk, but what if the door hasn’t been opened in a while? And the Buy Milk Meter didn’t go off? Is someone on vacation? And a prime target for a burglary?

We can all recite what goes into a deck, chapter and verse: Product, Team, Size of Market, etc. That’s pretty much the starting point for a company. Security is never mentioned. Since the IoT is not some far off concept, time to start paying attention and remember that we live in the real world, first and foremost. It matters. Security really does matter now, more than ever.

Here’s a thought, iot startups out there: has anyone thought of building in an ‘away’ mode, at least for starters, for security reasons?  Not unlike what home security companies do – asynchronously have lights go on and off in different parts of the home, to simulate there being actual humans present. (We know that ‘privacy mode’ is too much to ask for.) Or what about the idea of modular access: have access to things in different walled modules and nodes, so a potential hacker won’t be able to take over your entire life, or home, or baby monitor or whatever. As technology gets even more sophisticated, so will hackers and criminals. You’re going away and think you have taken all precautions – then boarded the family pet, who of course has an embedded geolocator, in a kennel. Wonder what the family pet is doing in a kennel. Hmmm. IoT gets complicated, doesn’t it?

We tend to run headlong into every shiny new thing, with little thought to the potential dark side. We’re certainly no fan of all of the data that is and will continue to be collected, and since big data is far from being a perfect science, all of those wrong-headed interpretations. Edward Snowden was a wake up call, but not unlike the internet itself, we seem to put that into some compartment, say ‘oh, well, and move on. Time to wake up and be more mindful of the potential landmines, as we go onward and forward.