The internet of things refers to every smart device talking both to each other and to central control systems. While we have around a billion smart phones and personal computers, the internet of things will include billions of “smart” devices that are not as fail safe, but much more numerous. Let’s examine the effect of the internet of things on privacy and data security.

New Ways to Spy on You

The internet of things is introducing far more ways for you to be spied on. Imagine the same companies that were listening in on your conversations through smart TVs or other smart home appliances data mining the conversations you have while the information appliance records all of it, transcribing it to text format for easier searching. They’re already doing this to a degree to better market to you. And since Big Tech has already given government intelligence agencies access to your email and search history, of course they’ll let anyone with a warrant review your private conversations.

New Ways to Threaten You

Will we have to worry about ransomware threatening to control connected appliances? Or will malicious parties hack your home security system via the IoT, causing your security system to be the source of your insecurity? Or will troublemakers just make trouble, messing with motor settings in various appliances to wake you up in the middle of the night or screwing up your personal routine like delaying the coffee maker while altering the climate controls in your home?

Do you want an appliance repair person showing up at your home because the refrigerator called for service based on its programming? What is the risk that hackers would generate that error message to get one of their decoys into your home on a seemingly legitimate reason? Or they could just look at your usage data and know when you left the house.

The dramatic increase in devices connected to the net is going to drive demand for those with an online MSSD degree, especially if you can improve security. And the growing number of institutions providing online masters in software development is increasing to meet this new demand.

New Ways for Various Organizations to Intrude

The Internet of things may have enabled state organizations and various other big entities to intrude in your life. There is a hope that tracking energy usage down to a granular level will enable utilities to better plan energy production or consumption. If the power demands are still too high, off goes the dishwasher, the pool pump and other luxuries so everyone’s air conditioners can still run. Or you could receive tickets from the state for running “wasteful” appliances or punishment for having the AC set too low during a brownout.

There is no telling what the effect of the increasing number of IoT enabled devices will mean for our future privacy and security, but one thing is for sure, and that is the surge in connected devices shows no signs of slowing down.