iot people

Why the “Things” in IoT should be replaced with “People”

IoT is causing fear among consumers according to research from MEF published in Readwrite: “Could massive consumer fear kill IoT?”. Here’s a snippet:

The study revealed the broad sentiment of consumers who are being spooked by fears that connected devices are lacking in oversight in privacy, security and general transparency. And with Gartner anticipating $1.9 trillion in economic benefits from IoT by 2020, the stakes are huge for businesses to tackle these fears quickly and decisively.

“MEF’s research shows a year-over-year decrease in consumer faith, which continues to dip as the war on privacy wages on, leaving users to deal with deciding what data tradeoffs are worthwhile,” said Todd Simpson, AVG’s Chief Strategy Officer.

“I have no doubt we will reach a point where customers’ objection to trading privacy for connectivity will push them into disengaging altogether.”

Consumer anxiety is definitely an issue with smart technology and the use of digital personal data. There is a lot research that proves this. But without a doubt consumers want to benefit from new technology and the personal data it produces. They don’t want to opt out of the connected world we live in. Research like this can lead us to this interpretation. The article concludes:

Simpson said that for IoT to gain any kind of widespread traction, it’s vital that those in the industry incorporate fundamental security standards, regardless of the particular device in question.

“The only way to stop this very real erosion of consumer trust is to act,” he said “We in the industry need to slow the race and make sure we are getting privacy and security right from the get-go.”

Agree, but there is more of an infrastructural problem: the mass collection of data on centralised databases. Even with the best security, databases can still be hacked. The name “internet of things” suggests that IoT is all about connecting to things not people. The “things” need to connect to people where the flow of data is decentralised. Putting people in control of data in an “internet of me” is a much more powerful way to restore trust and mitigate the risk of large scale security breaches.

Image: Aaron Burden

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