Internet of Confusion and Privacy (Things)

Having recently been present at a talk about IoT it confirmed to me what a minefield it is now, and will become in the future for both consumers and businesses alike.

Internet of Confusion: credit

Not only are most businesses not even thinking about this right now, but as soon as they do, what awaits them is confusion & bewilderment followed by a paralysis driven by TMI!

Yeah, its not easy!

As soon as your start thinking about the hundreds and hundreds of sensors that are around in the world; in your tech, in your clothes and even in the air (yeah it’s coming) the possibility around what data is available to us is endless, and then as you smash data from differing sources together you are able to draw even more informed insights, patterns, and therefore opportunities — but it is not easy.

What was enlightening to hear was a simplified way of approaching this madness; focus on one sensor to start with. Ask yourself what is the most common sensor that is related to your business and understand all the data you can get from that sensor, and then see what you can do with it. Then build on top of it….it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing approach.

What was also shared with me (which I am about to buy), is some kit that enables businesses to start “playing” with sensors in the space of IoT.

The T.I. Tag, made by Texas Instruments is like a Raspberry Pi for sensors, and allows you to experiment in this space from just $29! Yes, you read that right, $29 and some labs time with your tech guys, and you could be entering the IoT space in minutes rather than months!

Amongst all this confusion for businesses, is the customer, and this is where things get sensitive.

Do I really want a lot of companies knowing pretty much everything about what I do, when I do it, how I do it, why I do it etc etc? We think its crazy now with Social Media, but Facebook is the tip of the iceberg, and under the water is a mountain of stuff ready to be exploited.

It feels like we are about the embark on a world where as a person you are not able to control the data that is captured about you, and who that is accessible to. Yes the digital natives of the world right now think this is great, and our children will also grow up knowing not a great deal of anything different, but surely there is a point where we will start to regress away from this, and take back control of our lives as human beings?

Don’t get me wrong; if I have a sensor in my house that tells me when the pressure in my water pipes has changed, which indicates there could be a leak, and I go and check it and the sensor is right, and I can prevent my house and personal belongings getting damaged, as well as my bank balance, or my no claims bonus on my house insurance, and it means I don’t have to move out for 6 weeks whilst it gets sorted, then GREAT!

But, if I have a sensor in my jeans that tells Levi’s that I have put on weight, and they offer me the next size of jeans up, just because I ate burger after one too many pints, then my GP get in touch and asks me to see him, and off the back of that my health insurance policy goes up…isn’t that going a little far?

We’ve all been there!

This is a topic that will be discussed, debated, berated and belittled over the next 3 years until something else comes along, but whilst it’s hot, I thought I would pour some fuel on the fire, in a simplistic way.

(Let the IoT genii tear my post to pieces, I don’t mind, I am not professing to be a guru here, I just have a view that is slightly informed having worked in the digital space for 15 years!)

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