The audio maker Bose, whose wireless headphones sell for up to $350, uses an app to collect the listening habits of its customers and provide that information to third parties—all without the knowledge and permission of the users, according to a lawsuit filed in Chicago on Tuesday.
Source: Bose Headphones Secretly Collected User Data – Lawsuit | Fortune.com
The primary business model of the Internet, and by corollary The Internet of Things, is surveillance. This NBC News report describes many other devices that have been surveying their customers habits. As spying on customers becomes routine, it seems the only thing they’ve done wrong was fail to disclose their spying to the customers. Since most people do not read privacy agreements, most companies may legally spy on their customers, as long as it is disclosed.
Reno startup Filament is gearing up for high-scale production. The startup recently closed a $15 million round of new venture financing. The capital will allow Filament to scale manufacturing
[Their tech is designed to upgrade legacy industrial systems]
First, the device can physically connect to the machine if it has a diagnostic port. Second, the technology can monitor the environment around the infrastructure. Their devices can monitor temperature, humidity, light, sound pressure level and accelerometer movement. Lastly, the devices can provide a large-scale network in areas where there is little or no cellular service or WiFi.
Source: Reno-based tech startup Filament secures $15M in venture financing | nnbw.com
This is a great area of opportunity – enabling the monitoring of legacy equipment. Some times, just knowing the variation in temperature and humidity can be an important piece of information on a manufacturing line, or in an HVAC system or what ever your system process is.
Of interest – you can now purchase insurance coverage for drone operation.
Source: Insurance for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Drones in USA
Look around your home or office. To the left is a new Amazon Echo. To the right, your Siri-enabled iPhone. Across the hall is a Nest thermostat.And each device is collecting data on you, your habits, and your lifestyle – every minute.
Source: Five Big Privacy Risks Posed by Data Analytics | Bill McCabe | Pulse | LinkedIn
The suspected CIA spying tools that WikiLeaks has dumped have been linked to hacking attempts on at least 40 targets in 16 countries, according to security firm Symantec.
Source: Suspected CIA spying tools linked to hacks in 16 countries | PCWorld
Are there any examples of consumer-level #IoT devices that increase your level of privacy?
I cannot think of any.
- Does anyone other than us weird computer scientists think privacy and security are problems?
- Will consumers readily give up all privacy to use a new toy?
The next post, below, is about consumer product manufacturers putting Wi-Fi into everything – from children’s toys to coffee markets, refrigerators, washing machines and products that do not seem to offer real consumer benefits for being always connected.
The obvious benefits include:
- Manufacturers learning about how their products are used, identifying failure or maintenance problems, and learning how to build better products from that information,
- Collection of marketing data to use in selling more stuff to consumers.
The actual product features do not seem to offer real benefits to the consumer, though. Yet the consumer has likely given up a bit of privacy to enable these capabilities.
It’s not just ovens and refrigerators that are getting wi-fi, often bundled with cameras that let you see your food. It’s also coffee makers, digital thermometers, crock pots and virtually any other small appliance you can imagine.
Source: What Fresh Hell Is This? Kitchen Gadgets You Don’t Know You Need – Bloomberg View
The mostly likely use of Wi-Fi in a plethora of basically dumb home devices (do refrigerators really need Wi-Fi too?) is so manufacturers can keep tabs on how often their devices are used, and how they are used. In some cases, the data might even be sold for marketing purposes – perhaps someone that makes a lot of coffee is a candidate for blood pressure medication?