I have to admit, while researching the Internet of Things (IoT) this week, I secretly loved all the products that were receiving so much hate. “How lazy does one have to be to need a machine to make their coffee by the time their alarm goes off?” As lazy as me, my friends. As lazy as me.
But putting aside my downright slothful reasons for loving the Internet of Things, do the benefits make up for the loss of privacy. This got me thinking into just how beneficial the IoT is to individual consumers. While I was amused and intrigued by some of the inventions I stumbled upon while studying this topic, I couldn’t help but think that they were at best, making our lives slightly more convenient, not actually satisfying a growing need. While having my coffee ready for me by the time I get out of bed would be nice, the idea of having it 2 minutes later is not a disaster. I guess.
What could be interpreted as a disaster though, is the loss of privacy that comes from the IoT.
I tend to experience a feeling of FOMO when my friends catch up without me, but the idea of my devices talking about me is one that makes me feel very uneasy. While I enjoy the identical message alerts I get on both my laptop and phone (making me feel a lot more popular than I actually am), I have to wonder how easy it would be for others to connect to my device as well.
While the messages on my phone would only serve to bore a hacker, there are other connections that may cause concern. The personal information that would be gathered by these IoT may not be information we are willing to give up. For example, a device which lets you know when you’re low on your medicine may aid you in terms of convenience, but do you feel comfortable having your medical information out there?
I believe it comes down to personal opinion, and whether or not you believe that the benefit you’re receiving from a certain IoT is worth the privacy you sacrifice. But for consumers to make up their own mind, companies need to be transparent about the data that they will be collecting.
What do you think about the loss of privacy? A large sacrifice or a small inconvenience? Let me know in the comments below.