Surveillance And The Internet Of Things

Technology Surveillance

The internet has been used for surveillance ever since its widespread adoption two decades ago. Hundreds of companies make huge profits by monitoring, recording and collating all our information, before either selling it to governments who want to pry on citizen’s lives or corporations who want to learn about everything from the effectiveness of their latest advertising campaigns to the demographic that are most interested in their products.

So far, however, these companies have only been able to use information garnered from computers, smartphones and tablets to build a profile about you. While they may learn massive amounts of information from what you search for on Google and what links you open on Twitter, a committed person easily build themselves a ‘fake’ profile by opening pages and clicking links that they really had no interest in.

All that is now starting to change with the growth of the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT). As the sector grows we will start to see more and more of previously inanimate, standalone objects include internet connected modules. Cars and home appliances will all be able to collect and collate real-time data about everything from our health to our shopping preferences. How far away are smart advertising boards on the side of the road which can change their message in accordance with the person who is driving past?

The ultimate destination of the internet of things is that everything in our lives will have an internet connection. Already the IoT allows for a far greater amount of surveillance than was possible just a couple of years ago and the future reality will be that everything we do – both online and offline – will be recorded and stored for near-eternity.

Services such as Google Now already give a glimpse into this interconnected utopia. It tracks you permanently via your mobile phone and Gmail inbox to give you information as detailed as where you parked your car, how much traffic is expected on your drive to the office, when your favourite TV show is about to start and how far you have walked and/or cycled that month.

People concerned about surveillance should probably stay away from Google Glass – it cannot be too difficult for a hacker to get a live stream of what you are seeing and hearing through the device at any given time, while the falling price of airborne drones combined with their increased capabilities means facial recognition to easily see who is doing what from up in the sky is not too far away.

Of course, at the moment the amount of data is almost too massive to analyse, but as technology improves so will the ability to automatically sift through the huge quantities of information. If an object knows that it’s been purchased it means that whoever or whatever it is communicating with will know where you are and what you doing with it. It is unlikely that simple privacy settings will be sufficient – one only needs to look at Facebook’s ongoing privacy debacle to understand that virtually anyone can have access to your information if they are willing to pay for it.

What do you think? What is the future of surveillance on the internet of things?

By Daniel Price

David Friend

Cloud 2.0 will not be Ushered in by AWS or other Cloud Giants

Cloud 2.0 Trends Amazon, Google, and Microsoft are all pursuing similar business strategies: they want it all. ‘It,’ in this case, means the entire IT infrastructure in their cloud. Furthermore, they want you to buy ...
Customers Will Recover From Downtime. But Will Your Business?

Customers Will Recover From Downtime. But Will Your Business?

Downtime Recovery Today’s society relies heavily on being connected to service providers. The ability of a business to transact or provide services online is now just as important as the products they offer, or the ...
Signal Messenger: How to Successfully Resist Wiretapping Attempts

Signal Messenger: How to Successfully Resist Wiretapping Attempts

Successfully Resist Wiretapping Attempts Against the backdrop of events in the US, the popularity of the Signal secure messenger has grown sharply - from 6,000 to 26,000 downloads per day. This software uses strong cryptography ...
Hamza Seqqat

The Benefits of Virtualizing SD-WAN and Security

Benefits of Virtualizing SD-WAN As more companies adopt SD-WAN technology to enhance the agility of their networking architecture, they must give strong consideration to how and where to apply security across the network. There’s no ...
Chris Collins

Why Cloud Technology is a Smart Business Move for Higher Education

Higher Education Technology Cloud technology is not just for the world of big business. A growing number of higher education institutions are also embracing the cloud’s many advantages, especially for its data gathering and analytics ...
Kokumai

How to Enhance Security of Digital Identity

Enhance Security of Digital Identity Introduction The subject of this article is a fragile digital identity built with a weak password, which makes a grave choke point of the cyber age. The word ‘password’ is ...