The Internet of Things: Scary cool, or just plain scary?

Imagine if your GPS could guide you to the nearest empty parking space, how cool would that be?

What if forests could tell us when they were about to burst into flames? Or your medicine told you when to take it? That would save lives wouldn’t it?

How about if we could turn on the heater before we got home, or lock our door and turn off the stove from work just in case we forgot, you’d be game for that right?

What if you got a text from your fridge as you drive to the supermarket telling you to get milk? Slightly less cool? I mean still pretty helpful though.

man-texting-on-date

Sorry my refrigerator just needs needs me to grab some yogurt

What if as you walked down the street to get some lunch your watch told you there’s a sale on at a shoe shop across the street, kind of seems like really intrusive advertising doesn’t it?

Welcome to the internet of things, a development of the internet in which everyday objects have network connectivity, and are all constantly communicating with each other. The applications of such technology are virtually endless, with the examples I mentioned before ranging from convenience boosting, to life saving, and right back down to advertising.

IoT

Some of the uses of the internet of things are undeniably amazing, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t without its downside. I’m not talking about malfunctions leaving us to fend for ourselves without the technology we’ve become so dependent on, I pretty much did that last week….

I’m talking about the privacy concerns that accompany the irrefutably impressive possibilities of the Internet of Things. We’ve already reached a point in time where ads are being targeted to us based on our internet browsing. This can be beneficial to everyone, as marketers can effectively target their market, and consumers are only exposed to ads that have some relevance to them, but it can also taken too far, like when Target tipped off a man about his teenage daughters pregnancy through targeted coupons.

target

Target knows all your secrets now

So if targeted marketing can already cause privacy concerns due to shopping and internet behaviours, imagine the possibilities for infringement when our glasses, watches, televisions and fridges are all able to aid in data mining.

Privacy concerns are possibly the largest issue surrounding the Internet of Things, and it’s an important concern. If the Internet of Things progresses to a level where essentially all of daily tasks can be monitored by these wirelessly connected devices, then all our movements, all our activities and behaviours will be recorded, stored, and used by third parties. This could have some benefits, but it’s still a little scary to think about. So as we go down this path towards interconnectivity between essentially everything, just remember it all comes at a cost, and that cost might just be your privacy.

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2 thoughts on “The Internet of Things: Scary cool, or just plain scary?

  1. Hey Ahri wow what a thought provoking post!

    At first i thought IoT seemed really cool but it got real creepy real fast haha :p The smart parking example you gave looks extremely state of the art and awesome! Despite all the good aspects IoT can bring to consumers daily life, as you mentioned privacy issues are a highly important factor that needs to be considered and I’m sure when IoT becomes more prominent in society this will be brought up in a great debate which will be interesting to observe

    Overall a great post and a very interesting read great job Ahri 🙂
    Claire 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I definitely agree, and I’m curious to see how society as a whole reacts to these advancements. The Internet of Things is incredibly impressive, and has the potential to do great thinks, I just think it’s crucial for it to be implemented properly to best serve everyone. Thanks for the comment! 🙂

      Like

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