Privacy: The Dark Side of the Internet of Things

There’s a lot of buzz about the Internet of Things (IoT), but people aren’t quite sure what to think of it. Back in fall 2016, there was a big attack on an Internet service provider in which a bunch of IoT devices became a botnet and made much of the Internet unavailable. It was a big moment that made people question the security of IoT. And although security risks are getting the headlines right now, and should certainly be considered, the bigger risk with IoT is privacy.

It is going to be so cheap and so easy for manufacturers to put Wi-Fi-connected chips into practically every device we use in our homes and businesses that IoT will become hard to avoid. Combine low costs with the incentives that companies have to collect data on user behavior, and things start to feel creepy. For example, imagine your oven, your refrigerator, or your microwave has data-collecting chips in it, purporting to provide a benefit to you if the device is connected to the Internet (your incentive). The cost is next to nothing for the manufacturer to collect the usage data and people aren’t going to take notice of this until something bad happens — and Ryan Barrett, VP of Security and Privacy at Intermedia, predicts that it will.

Read more about why Ryan Barrett thinks it’s a problem that people do not consider the privacy component of IoT devices before letting one into their business or home on DarkReading.

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