Marc Curtis: SXSW 2016: The unintended consequences of the Internet of Things

With more homes becoming ‘smart’ and equipped with Nest thermostats and connected lightbulbs and fridges, and big players like Samsung and Google creating their own (somewhat open) standards to connect all these devices, concerns have been raised about the knock-on effects of connectivity on privacy and security.

The unintended consequences of the Internet of Things was a major theme at SXSW this year. Ruby Zefo, a lawyer who runs the privacy and policy group at Intel, said that ninety per cent of connected devices handle sensitive personal data, much of it over insecure networks. A person’s connected lightbulb or internet enabled set of bathroom scales can routinely transmit his or her Google account credentials to the cloud of data surrounding the connected home.

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