September 16, 2013

Just how connected do you want to be?


With varied motivations, several entities are after your habits, your communications, your browsing history, your driving patterns, places you visit, people you hang out with in the physical and digital worlds, and a lot more.

If all the connectivity efforts of today did in fact become successful, a decade from now, we are looking at connected traffic lights, sensor-laden parking lots and roads, connected everything at home, locks that can be locked and unlocked digitally, pills with digestible silicon, smart tattoos and washable sensors in fabrics. Many of these are commercial or nearly commercial today and will likely attain reasonable to massive scale over the next decade. Of course, there are several impediments to truly seamless connected everything. But, given the level of interest and efforts, we will get closer and closer to this utopian connected world for sure.

A lot of good things will come out of it – automation at home making things easier for us, personalization that will allow our devices to be so much more proactive and useful, global energy savings, better healthcare, etc. But, as we look forward to all that, what happens to our privacy and the security of the information we generate, access and share? It’s a good thing that “social” is teaching us how to be less private and more revealing – because, it’s about to get a lot worse.

The reality is that the NSA is after you. The advertisers are after you. The insurance companies are after you. With varied motivations, several entities are after your habits, your communications, your browsing history, your driving patterns, places you visit, people you hang out with in the physical and digital worlds, and a lot more. As this uber connectivity state grows, it will be easier than ever to get to more information. Yes, there will also be much more data, making finding specific and useful information harder. But, these are people with a big potential payoff and a lot of resources at their disposal to go after this problem.

So who, in this large ecosystem of hardware and software producers and eavesdroppers, is looking out for you?

Get the full story at GigaOM

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