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Privacy integral to future of the Internet o

f Things
PALO ALTO, Calif. As the Internet of Things steamrolls from tech
novelty to entrenched reality, privacy concerns will mushroom surroun
ding the personal data generated y devices on our odies and in our
!ow is a critical in"ection point, according to those gathered at th
e Internet of Things Privacy #ummit, the $rst #ilicon %alley confa org
ani&ed y data privacy management company T'(#Te.
The Internet of Things, or IoT, is a term used to descrie the growi
ng numer of devices that oast )e connectivity, from thermostats s
uch as !est to e*ercise monitors such as +itit. There will e ,- illio
n such devices y .-.-, representing a /0, illion mar1et, according t
o Cisco #ystems
23ounger generations seem to e more la* aout privacy, which sim
ply means that ig companies need to as1 themselves, what is our ethi
cal code42 she says. 2There has to e a layer of security from the 5com
puter6 chip outward. #ure, you want your health information going to
your doctor. 7ut you need to help people feel con$dent that it8s not goi
ng elsewhere.2
The cynical view is that corporations focused on pro$t will minimi&e p
rivacy issues if they get in the way of a growing ottom line. 9ennedy
and others here caution that approach ris1s a consumer ac1lash.
2In almost any segment, it8s a very competitive mar1et out there, cons
umers have a lot of choices,2 she says.
:ore than one attendee rought up the recent news of +aceoo18s
reach of user trust as an e*ample worth heeding in the rewing priva
cy deate.
The social media giant was pilloried for allowing a scienti$c ;ournal
to pulish the results of an e*periment it conducted in .-0. on <--,--
- users in which news feeds were manipulated to gauge emotional rea
ctions. The revelation caused a shoc1ed reaction from some +aceoo1
users, ut no mass defections.
2If I were one of those consumers who were eing manipulated y
+aceoo1, I8d e furious,2 says conference attendee 9aniel 'amos, sen
ior vice president at Alarm.com, which o=ers security companies the a
ility for their customers to wirelessly control in>home security system
'amos says Alarm.com owns its cloud servers, which allows for a gr
eater level of data security than using third>party servers. As a result,
it charges for its services, fees that are emedded into an alarm comp
any customer8s monthly ill. ?e is con$dent this pay>for>privacy model
will dominate the coming Internet of Things wave.
2)e8re convinced people increasingly won8t use a free product or ser
vice if it8s really ;ust a vehicle for advertising or a way to see how they
live their lives,2 he says. 2They8re starting to reali&e that free maye r
eally isn8t free.2
If there was a recurring theme to the one>day conference, it was th
e deate etween the tremendous potential o=ered y IoT in terms of
improving corporate e=iciency and the potential social impact of sacri
$cing privacy on the altar of progress.
Paul 'ogers, chief development o=icer for @eneral Alectric, o=ered
a slide>pac1ed presentation on the ene$ts of ig data. One e*ample h
e gave was aout a $ctional hospital trying to streamline its supply ch
ain, which could use IoT tech to lin1 its doctors to product use.
2Let8s say a certain doctor is using triple the amount of gau&e as the
rest of his colleagues. )ell, you could trac1 that and have a conversati
on with that doctor aout his methods,2 says 'ogers, implying that the
happy resolution would e an improvement in the doctor8s techniBue a
nd a reduction in gau&e use.
that e*ample didn8t sit well with the ne*t spea1er, Canna Anderson o
f the Imagining the Internet Center at Alon (niversity, which recently
partnered with the Pew Internet and American Life Pro;ect on a study
aout the oom in IoT.
2)hat if 9r. #mith is using three times more gau&e ecause ultimat
ely that8s etter for patients, even if the hospital8s supply chain may w
ant him to use less42 Anderson as1ed. 2The Buestion we need to as1 5a
out the IoT6 is will it ;ust e a cash>generating mar1eting tool and a s
pying device4 I hope not. 7ut I thin1 it will ta1e a very purposeful e=o
rt to recogni&e that our civil rights are paramount.2
?er suggestions for corporations included promoting chief privacy
o=icers and having them report directly to the CAO.
The privacy deate oils down to 2whether we as consumers are will
ing to surrender privacy for convenience, which is dangerous consider
ing the tempting opportunity for the ause of such private informatio
n,2 Anderson says.
There were two conclusions from the day8s events. One, the Interne
t of Things is coming, and with it a growing need for consumers and c
orporations ali1e to address its attendant privacy issues.
Two, worrying aout our online privacy is nothing new.
In .--D, Anderson and her team of researchers loo1ed at tech>futur
e predictions from thin1ers made ac1 in the early 8E-s. The new mille
nnium future, they concluded, would include ,-- T% channels 5true6,
world peace 5not so much6 and the death of privacy 5not yet65 httpsFGGt
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