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User Data Surveillance is Heading IOT Towards Disaster

“We need to do better as an industry, get past the hype and start talking about real-world implementation.” – Stanton

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It is time that we come out of our imaginary world and create a perfect one, where not even a single IOT device fails. IOT organizations are quite optimistic that their devices will touch the skies, and by 2020 there will be 20 billion devices globally. However, while all these optimistic approaches regarding IOT’s future do look promising, there is a lot of effort required in reality.

One thing is for sure though, the usage of IOT devices is increasing nowadays. This has allowed us to analyze the TRUE performance of such technologies, and the signs are not good at all. Recent research by Cisco found out that almost 75% of all IOT projects fail!

There is no doubt the concept of IOT is excellent, but it seems like there is a significant loophole in the infrastructure and mechanism. Centralized data collection has more chances for hackers to get a massive amount of users in seconds.

Unfortunately, there is also zero focus of IOT organizations to create a path to provide ultimate security for user information, limiting the chances of data vigilance.

Data Surveillance is the Thanos of IOT  

As the mechanism of IOT devices is based on user data to provide appropriate results and suggestions, the vulnerabilities regarding data security gives a hard time in the success of IOT globally.

The reason why I am emphasizing on this data surveillance topic so much is because of the following incidents we found during our research:

Toys Based on the IOT Mechanism Brainwash Children Minds in Germany

Since there are no such plans to make user data secure from being compromised by IOT organizations, the results are very alarming.

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While working on IOT to find out a way to limit hackers from stealing the user’s data, who are engaged with IOT devices – we found a case in Germany where parents destroy the “My Friend Cayla Smart Doll”.

German authorities found out the smart toy collects data, which is transferred to banned surveillance devices. This means due to no data security, hackers can get the relevant access to speak to children directly, and brainwash them towards transgression.

As soon as the parents found out, they got rid of the smart doll, putting their daughter’s safety at top priority.

Even Your Sexual Desire is not Confidential While Using IOT Devices

First of all “Why, would anyone connect a sex toy with the internet?” Like seriously, knowing how almost every single website/app/service you use is trying to steal your data, is it really worth the risk?

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Recently, a vibrator named We-Vibe 4 Plus, which has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity with other smart devices to control them remotely was found collecting users data regarding performance.

This involved information like, how many minutes you used it for the first time. Other problems included “unwanted activation”, which was labelled as “potential sexual assault”.

Not Only Humans but your Pets are also not safe from IOT Devices

Not only do IOT devices record all user data, but they also try controlling your pets. Yes, you read it right. An organization “Petnet” offers an IOT-based automated feeder, which is a great threat.

This systems failure could lead to shutting down Petnet device up to more than 10 hours, which is not great at all.

So despite all these and many more security threats and very limited efforts towards solving them, why are IOT organizations so hopeful about the future of IOT?

Then why are IOT Companies so Hopeful about the Future?

“There are some things that money cannot buy… like manners, morals, and integrity”. Not a single IOT company is interested in providing a path where users can secure their data while using IOT devices.

It is a slippery slope for them, because if they do so, how will they generate money by collecting data and selling it to research institutions like Cambridge Analytica?

That is why these IOT device manufacturers are explicitly showing the bright side of these smart devices, which is alarming to say the least. If official authorities do not take any actions, there will come a time, where user privacy would be a facade, and we all become their puppets.

We see what they want us to see; we eat what they want us to eat, we treat people, as they want us to treat them. It is not hard to imagine how suffocating life would be, comparable to a dark nightmare, where all you want to is die (sorry, the dark side took over!).

In short, if the behavior of IOT organizations do not change, there would be no place for IOT in the future. However, if these IOT companies focus more towards providing users with privacy and security, there are multiple ways, from which they can make their time ahead quite bright!

How to Keep Your Data Secure While Using IOT devices

If you are already dependent on these IOT devices and spend a massive amount of your earnings, do not worry much, as there is still a way to keep your online data secure from being compromised. To do so:

  • Turn off the remote feature of IOT devices when you are not using it
  • Always use strong passwords for your IOT devices access and avoid using standard passwords
  • Apply robust encryption and security protocols, when setting up your wireless internet connection
  • Various IOT devices enable all features by default.  Disable the ones you use occasionally or ignore completely
  • Use encryption software to save your data in encrypted form, so when even the data is compromised, your data will be non-readable to hackers.
  • Always research about the IOT device you are going to buy regarding its capabilities and security concerns. This way, you will learn when the use of this device is appropriate in different scenarios.

Final Verdict

IOT devices still need huge improvements regarding maintaining the Internet privacy and security of users. However, companies are not taking this data security threat seriously.

Blockchain-based technology is the key to boosting the growth of IOT devices, yet no one pays it any heed. By changing, the collection of data with the help of a centralized mechanism in comparison to a decentralized structure, things can turn out to be quite lucrative for the IOT industry.

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Paschal Okafor
Paschal Okafor
Paschal Okafor is the founder of NaijaTechGuide. A Graduate of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Paschal is passionate about Technology and since 2006 has written over 4000 articles covering Mobile Devices, Consumer Electronics, Digital Marketing, Mobile Apps, and Online Services. Over the past 16 years, he has managed to turn a blog that started life on a Google Blogger subdomain into the Largest Technology Blog in Nigeria and quite possibly the largest in Africa. Paschal has been Building, Analyzing, and Maintaining Websites for over 17 years and also shares his wealth of knowledge and experience about building and managing websites on NaijaTechGuide.

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