The Internet of Things and Data Privacy

Published: 08 August 2019
Author: Jimmy Desai

I have been shocked in recent years to read headline upon headline discussing instances of technology recording our conversations. We’re all familiar with the story; two people are conversing about an obscure product, their phones innocuously placed next to them on the table, only for this product to appear in the form of an advertisement during their internet browsing just days later.

Experiments have been done by many to verify this phenomenon. It’s as if we’re moving towards a society that is more concerned with revenue generation than an individual’s entitlement to a sequestered conversation. The paranoia being experienced over the security of our personal information is palpable, and the Internet of Things is gaining notoriety in being largely culpable.

The concepts of privacy and global interconnectedness run in stark contrast to one another. The Internet of Things is an ecosystem; a vast community of interacting digital organisms making up an impossibly complex network. And it’s brimming with an awash of data, personal data, which is being encouraged to transmit across a swelling mass of connections.

This network is not without its advantages; the distribution of humanitarian aid at the tap of a fingertip is no doubt enormously appealing. Privacy on the other hand demands the separation and concealment of data, to cordon off pockets of information in order to keep ourselves and our livelihoods safe.

The Internet of Things has allowed individuals to infiltrate items as non-assuming as baby monitors, and thereby access our most vulnerable moments. How can we could legally achieve a balance between the advancement of the Internet of Things, and the desire to withhold our information from those that could maliciously exploit it? This will be achieved through an exploration of case studies on the policy-based regulation of personal data dissemination.

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