Something I find troubling about this ‘Internet of Things’ is the ramifications this may have on our security and privacy. With an ever- increasing connectivity of our objects and devices all communicating with each other and ourselves, what happens when there is a breakdown or interruption to this communication?
Examples of devices already incorporating aspects of this technology are security cameras and baby monitors. They can be connected to the Internet through mobile devices and your home computer for efficient access and 24 hour/day access. Problems arose however when US security company Trendnet, who make home and business security cameras and hardware, were hacked and over 700 users’ live camera feeds were accessed. Many of these videos were published on the Internet, questioning Trendnet’s representation as ‘secure’.
If cameras can be accessed illegally by anyone, maybe there is a possibility for more future ‘connected’ things to be hacked by the wrong people. I’m picturing our microwaves and vacuums turning on us the minute we walk in the door, under the control of an evil hacker, but that obviously that is very extreme.
While companies are increasingly able to fix bugs and flaws in their software, it can also be seen that hackers that wish to do harm and access others’ property and accounts, are also enhancing their capabilities. With more and more ‘things’ being connected to the Internet in some way, will this make it harder to regulate and manage? What powers will governments hold and how long until the human body is another ‘thing’ in the Internet?
The Internet of Things is, without doubt, an exciting concept to think about. There are endless benefits to be seen by having our movements linked in to our personal devices by being able to control technology in our day to day lives. I just can’t help but think that the speed at which all of this is going, it might just surpass us and the need to reinvent and revolutionise will overtake common sense and rationalising the legitimate human need for this kind of technology. While the amount of connected devices has far surpassed the number of people on the planet, how many of these people have no access to clean water, let alone a strong Internet connection?