The Guardian

Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple asked to turn over internal documents

The US government’s investigations into big tech widened on Friday as lawmakers announced they were seeking internal documents from Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple. Letters went out to the four companies on Friday from the leaders of the House judiciary committee and its subcommittee on
/
Firefox is testing a VPN, and you can try it right now - It’s part of the revitalized Firefox Test Pilot program

Firefox is testing a VPN, and you can try it right now – It’s part of the revitalized Firefox Test Pilot program

Last week, Mozilla said its Firefox browser would block third-party trackers for everyone by default and yesterday, Mozilla announced a new product that could give Firefox users even more privacy on the web: the Firefox Private Network, which claims to be “a secure, encrypted path
/
Pallavi Sharma

The Cloud Above Our Home

Our Home – Moving All Things Into The Cloud

The promise of a smart home had excited the imagination of the movie makers long ago. If you have seen any TV shows in the nineties or before, the interpretation presented itself to us as a computerized personal assistant or a robot housekeeper. It was smart, meticulous, took care of everything mundane and even had a sense of humor. It kept track of everything in the home and would spend its day monitoring, analyzing, troubleshooting and fixing problems. Despite the grueling work, it managed to greet the owner every evening with a drink and a status report. Who wouldn’t welcome this ideal of perfection into their lives?

robot-housekeeper

Today, the advent of internet of things and home automation has led to a ubiquitous array of smart gadgets for the home. The smart devices work to solve simple daily problems for us. The devices continuously collect data and take decisions. At the heart of them, each of these smart devices is built around sensors. The smart device relies on the data from the sensors being mined before the decision is made. To build an aware home, several sensors are placed.

Analyzing And Mapping Personal Habits

Smart devices will also learn about the user. They may, for instance, learn that the owner returns from work at 8pm so at 7:45pm the porch light should turn on, and living room should start heating. Other sensors in the home collect further information, time the residents wake up, routes they take to work, what’s missing in the refrigerator or pantry, how long they used the stove every day of the week, etc. etc. The smart home will strive to make the owner’s life smoother by checking the traffic conditions, ordering the groceries, controlling the lights, setting the water pressure et al.

The structure, the appliances, the furniture around us will no longer be passive. They will be built to be adaptive and incessantly learning. Along with the data collected by the sensors, a smart home will generate and use the home’s personal analytics to make decisions.

A full range of expert service applications to mine the data will be available via the cloud. The cloud above our homes will continually process all the data collected by the sensors, analyze it and recommend actions. It will be actively engaged at all times. Although today, most smart devices don’t work cohesively, the cloud will enable a comprehensive approach to an aware home. The information can be shared across and more qualified decisions can be made by the smart devices.

The home’s resources are used efficiently and more effectively for the home owners. It is a win-win scenario. Many home automation concepts are already becoming prevalent and are gaining adoption.

Securing Our Things

 

One major barrier to the adoption of the smart home is the very legitimate concern about security. The data from the sensors is sent to the cloud to gather input from expert applications. Once out of our homes where is this data stored? Simplistically, can thieves find out when I am not in town by tracing trends off of my thermostat? Or perhaps, which people are in my home at what times? Most smart devices today work in silos and they each have their policies for the treatment of the data they collect. If a standard framework for a secure smart home is not laid out in advance it is naive to believe that we can patch up security later.

Another concern for consumers is the privacy of their home data. The expert applications that service the smart device will likely reside clouds hosted by the device or service provider. To keep the cost of the service low, the providers might use the consumer data to generate and sell target market leads. The old adage goes, ‘if you are not the customer you are the product’. We see this today with all the free mail, photo sharing applications we use. This approach will be an extension to the same philosophy. The users give up more of their privacy for cost and convenience.

The concerns are in effect no different than what we are facing on the internet and social media. The dissimilarity is that now it’s personal, and it’s making its way inside homes. Consumer’s want automated housekeepers, not spies.

Despite the barriers, home automation advantages are too big to ignore. As the costs of fitting homes with smart devices comedown, we will see further widespread adoption. The cloud above our homes, neighborhoods, schools and workplaces are here to stay. The convenience of the consumers will continue drive the need to create secure and useful automated home solutions.

By Pallavi Sharma

Pallavi Sharma Contributor
Pallavi is a technology leader with fourteen years of experience in conceptualizing and engineering products. She currently works at Intel and owns programs for UX and performance enabling on Intel consumer devices for worldwide partners where she defines and drives product strategy and execution for UX, power and performance on Intel Architecture based devices. She is reputed as an industry expert, speaker, author, and mentor in platform power and thermal management, user experience evaluations, benchmark and performance analysis, and competitive analysis for mobile technologies, system-on-chip & operating system architectures. Her primary product focus includes connected devices, tablets, smartphones, consumer wearables and internet of things. Since 2014 she is an advisor to Manora Labs, a cloud consulting startup based out of Silicon Valley. Pallavi holds an MS in Computer Engineering from Santa Clara University, CA. She is also an appointed Commissioner for the City of Saratoga, CA.
CA Technologies

CLOUD PARTNERS | SPONSOR SERVICES

The Massive Growth of the IoT Services Market

The Massive Growth of the IoT Services Market

Growth of the IoT Services While the Internet of Things has become a popular concept among tech crowds, the consumer IoT remains fragmented. Top companies ...
Allan Leinwand

Two 2017 Trends From A Galaxy Far, Far Away

Reaching For The Stars People who know me know that I’m a huge Star Wars fan. I recently had the opportunity to see Rogue One: ...
Daren Glenister

What’s Next In Cloud And Data Security?

Cloud and Data Security It has been a tumultuous year in data privacy to say the least – we’ve had a huge increase in data ...
Daren Glenister

10 Ways The Enterprise Can Prevent Data Leaks In The Cloud

Prevent Data Leaks In The Cloud More companies are turning to the cloud for storage. In fact, over 60 percent of organizations store sensitive information ...
NYT

How Each Big Tech Company May Be Targeted by Regulators

/
Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google have been the envy of corporate America, admired for their size, influence and remarkable growth. Now that success is attracting a different kind of spotlight ...
International Data Privacy Laws

51 companies tell Congress it’s time to tackle data privacy

/
Amazon, AT&T and Qualcomm are among those involved The corporate world isn't waiting around for Congress to get started on tougher data privacy laws. A group of 51 CEOs from ...
IBM News

IBM Expands Cloud Pak for Data with New DataOps Enhancements to Help Clients Get their Data Ready for AI

/
NEW YORK, Sept. 10, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced enhancements to Cloud Pak for Data that leverage the DataOps methodology to help clients get their data 'business-ready' for AI. As corporate data continues ...

TRENDING | TECH NEWS