Today we are at the cusp of an evolution in smart, connected gadgets called The Internet of Things or IoT; a concept that has an estimated 25 billion devices worldwide connected to each other providing for us a powerful learning resource as computing power and Internet connectivity are embedded within them.
So, like you mentioned IoT or The Internet of things, at its simplest level, are all of the smart devices that would have a connection to the internet – that can range from refrigerators that email you when you’re out of milk to phones, watches, and heart rate or blood pressure sensors that can collect live data on a person or environment and transmit it somewhere. These days, a lot of toys and most electronics are designed in some way to collect some type of data and then connect, in some way, shape or form, to the internet.
There seems to be a lot of advantages to having smart devices monitor people and their environments collecting and sharing that data.
For instance, IoT can be used to monitor the vibrations of buildings, bridges, and monuments in case the building material is threatened or overloaded.
Air pollution can be monitored and controlled around hospitals and schools. It can be used to manage traffic especially during traffic jams, peak hours, accidents, and rains. It can be used to manage street lights―automatically switch them off in the presence of sunlight and switch them on at the onset of darkness.
We can use this technology to identify health problems. The patterns of heart rate, pulse, digestive system, and blood pressure can be monitored and diagnosed for anomalies. The information can be sent to the doctor for analysis.
So, first and foremost, like everything connected to the internet we have privacy and security concerns that our data might be shared without our knowledge or approval and that our data could be hacked by other users.
That said, IoT devices generate a lot of data, for instance wireless cameras, bluetooth air quality sensors, smartphones and ipads constantly generating and sharing data and so we may be right to have concerns about privacy in the present and future IoT world.
Just in the news lately, we have privacy groups talking about baby monitors and children’s toys are now becoming one of the increasing number of so-called smart devices that comes connected to the internet. And, security experts are warning that such devices can leave consumers vulnerable to hacking and are urging governments to more closely regulate their production.