The Problem with Privacy in IoT
Michael Henretty
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Michael Henretty I really like the DinoTank T-shirt :D which is in the featured image of this post, indeed great blog on the DinoTank experinence.

Even I felt the same about the fact that “Technology needs to be designed better and needs to focus on human more ” after the DinoTank at Bengaluru, especially during the User testing stage (really was a very big life leasson).

Privacy in IOT services is a great concern and agree with all the points you brought up in the blog.

I have a feedback for your solution, I am not really sure if people would buy a device to ensure their privacy when they don’t really understand its value, rather I would like to see IOT service providers implement practice that ensure user privacy first by providing user preference, data standardization and privacy services in network layer of the device as a standard implementation in all IOT services. (Have mentioned about it in details below)

I feel there is definitely a great need for policies and practices in IOT services that can keep user privacy first. I have composed a blog post (https://dvigneshwer.wordpress.com/2016/11/27/iot-policies-for-the-near-future/ )

I have covered the following aspects in the blog,

Explanation of problems

  • User tracking in IOT services enabled devices such as webcam, microphones etc
  • Users are not aware of the information collected and sent to the service provider
  • Users are tricked to be a part of an ecosystem where they continuously help service providers to improve their services with their data and feedbacks

The core problem of no one coming up with any standards and policies is that IOT being interdisciplinary has business interests of many domains due to which they don’t want to be a part of any standardization which will be a problem to them in future where we will have better infrastructure for IOT services.

Solutions to above problems :

  • Data standardization
    We need standards which state that only these features of the data are required by the service provider for functioning.
    Ex: For sentimental analysis of voice of a user we need only a particular harmonic frame
  • User preference 
    Users should be provided with information in the front-end of the IOT services where users can select kind of data features they wish to share. These features should

By above both methods, we can restrict unnecessary data collection by a third party.

  • Clarity on privacy policies
    Which clearly states that your interactions are being monitored to improve services.
    Ex : Your image tagging activities in Facebook is been monitored to improve Facebook tagging service.
  • Encryption of data packets, to ensure user preferences of data sharing in the IOT device. A new network layer service running to ensure the only user selected data features are being transferred and block/ report to the user if the IOT devices are violating any user preferences.
  • User tracking or any IOT device running in a public area should be marked with unique signs