The Internet of Things: Utility vs. Privacy

I previously raised the subject of how the Internet of Things feels and its creepiness. Why does unconsented data collection feel wrong? Well, it probably goes against our preconceptions of our right to privacy.

The more utility we have’ from new technology, ‘the more prepared we are to give up privacy’ – Robert Scoble (blogger)

From smartphones and wearables to predictive searches and suggestions, the Internet of Things (IoT) makes many promises: to seamlessly connect us more than ever before, to ease our transitions from one experience to the next, to make sure we have what we need when we need it (and only then, fading into the background when it’s no longer necessary). And to do this, IoT devices and experiences need to learn about us, our likes and dislikes, our daily patterns, etc.

And that’s when some feel things start getting a little creepy. These devices – and the companies they’re a part of – can start to seem invasive. To be effective, IoT needs behavioral data to figure out what we’re going to want next. And anytime that anyone or anything knows that much information about us, there’s a risk of it being too much.

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