Cloud-connected medical devices save lives, but also raise questions about privacy, security, and oversight. Who has access to your pacemaker? Can any hacker fiddle with the settings or turn it (and thus you) off for good? Did the producers of these devices even consider such scenarios?
Read: My Pacemaker Is Tracking Me From Inside My Body – The Atlantic
And your GPS enabled fitness tracker is maybe sharing your location information too far and endanger your life. Does sharing of our data start to bite us back?
Read: Fitness tracking app Strava gives away location of secret US army bases
(Image from the Guardian article)
I had quoted previously how easy it can be to get access to your car’s vital functions from outside your internet-connected vehicle. Even brakes and steering can be taken over from someone remotely hacking into your vehicle.
It is time that industry as well as service providers take security and privacy issues absolutely seriously. Otherwise our brave new world of IoT (Internet of Things) where anything is connected to everything will become a security and privacy nightmare. Are solutions on the horizon?
Maybe–Last year’s Swiss ICT Award went to a company, which produces an “Operating System for the IoT,” Nomos System. I think their approach will not only free you from the fetters of proprietary systems that only interoperate within the same brand (one app for the Phillips LED lights, one separate app for the Samsung robot vacuum cleaner, another one for the Sonos speakers, . . .) but also provide a layer of security.
It is time that we think about security and privacy protection simultaneously with the first use cases of any such application–or we will lose the promises and possibilities of IoT to the dark side.