Makers of connected devices for the Internet of Things must focus on security to protect consumers’ privacy
By Charles Orton Jones. Published on Raconteur.net on June 28, 2015
When the story broke, Samsung admitted it was logging users’ activity and voice commands, but claimed users agreed to in the terms and conditions, and had enabled the function when setting up their TV. The option could be turned off.
In truth, Samsung was engaging in what many companies do, which is to learn from voice commands in order to improve the service. Use Siri on an iPhone and something similar is taking place. But the episode publicised just how dangerous it could be to install internet-connected devices.”
“Should we be pessimists about IoT? Hongwen Zhang, co-chairman of OpenCloud Connect, the industry alliance of cloud and IoT makers, says even if doubters are right, consumers will still enjoy using IoT devices. “Your above items of threat are all valid. However, the benefits of IoT overweigh all these fears. We have passed the point of no return in our evolution path with IoT,” he says.
He warns the real danger isn’t nosy governments or teenage hackers. But something more sinister – artificial intelligence.
Dr Zhang admits this: “On the speculation spectrum, the irony is that we will soon able to build terminators before we figure out how to do time travel. The evil actors may not be humans but ‘superintelligence’ as described by Professor Nick Bostrom of Oxford University in his book Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies. Let’s hope humanity avoids those bad paths that lead to extinction.”
He adds sensibly: “We are good at finding cures.” If he’s wrong, dodgy kettles and sweary dolls would be the least of our worries.”
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