RSS Lifestyle – Living

Will the Internet of Things Be Another Surveillance Nightmare?


mobileThe Internet of Things—the coming revolution in household appliance integration with the Internet—could well be a nightmare of privacy violation and data harvesting.The past decade has seen a revolution in microprocessing, Internet connectivity and widespread adoption of new technologies.

Human beings are connected to vast sources of data and discourse through an increasing number of outlets.

Phones and tablets, the first frontier of smart, social technology beyond traditional computers, have highlighted questions of privacy in media, discussion and politics. As the microprocessor revolution rages on, more and more household objects will begin to collect data, communicate with the Internet, and force us to evaluate our positions on the fine line between privacy and utility.

Purdue University computer science professor Eugene Spafford is researching the risks and benefits of the so-called Internet of Things. He warns that an increasing number of household objects—everything from refrigerators and toilets to electrical grids and showers—will soon collect a great deal of data, often without our knowledge.

Similar tensions have been raised over Google and Facebook’s massive data collection programs and algorithms that tailor—or force—the individual’s experience. Even the federal government, through the PRISM program, is collecting massive amounts of data on the communication habits of Americans through phone and internet services.

Spafford points out, “We put ourselves in a position where we may be manipulated without our consent, and possibly without our knowledge, because connections may be drawn on this data that we don’t understand or recognize even about ourselves.”

On the other hand, mass analysis of data about our daily behaviors could be extremely helpful. If one could be given feedback from data points about energy usage, health, movement, food, and finances, more utilitarian decisions could be made.

Professor Spafford points out his main concern: the data may be available to more than just the individual consumer. The companies that sell the smart products may mine considerable data on consumer behavior without the consent or knowledge of the user, just as Facebook and Google do.

“For example the company that makes the Nest thermostat was purchased by Google. Now Google will know when I’m home, can determine how many people are in the house, and that information will be provided to other companies and government agencies. Is that a trade I’m willing to make? To what extent can I control that?” says Spafford.

Ethnical questions with emerging technologies are nothing new. As connectivity increases, the capacity for discourse also increases. Though the debate on privacy and utility is complex, it will be up to the companies to design smart products that consumers feel comfortable with, up to the consumers to decide whether to adopt them or not.

On the other hand, some fear that the rate of technology is increasing beyond our capacity to understand its full implications. If there is no transparency and no legal protection of consumer’s privacy, corporations could exploit consumer ignorance and gather data without regard.

Spafford believes that full transparency is the only way to ethically integrate these new technologies into society. If the consumer is given full knowledge of the data that will be collected and who will have access to it, then he or she could make an educated choice on the adoption of the technology.

Regardless of the level that individual privacy is compromised, mass adoption of the Internet of Things is likely. There is always a threshold where utility outweighs the sacrifice of privacy. In a 2011 survey of 1000 smart phone users, 98% reported privacy and transparency as a serious concern. It is a small minority, however, who abstains from smartphone use altogether because of privacy concerns. In the next ten years, we will see whether society continues to lean towards utility and data over a sense of privacy.


“Sensors everywhere could mean privacy nowhere, expert says,” via Purdue University.

Comments are closed.


Listen our radio online in China,Europe

“Oraia” Radio,News & Lifestyle,the online home in China & Europe of a original audio content produced by the staff of Oraia,with the latest features, programs, news, audio, podcasts, events, photos.Night Time our Entertainment Program with the Latest Tracks.

Pentagon’s ‘lost’ trillions went to people connected to US military-industrial complex

Former Republican congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul has said that “the Pentagon’s lost trillions have nothing to do with defense, adding that the “money propping up the high lifestyles of those connected to the military-industrial complex.” Dr. Paul, a three-time American presidential candidate and the founder of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, made the remarks in an article published by his website on Monday. Deputy US Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan has recently acknowledged that the Pentagon has failed its first-ever comprehensive audit, saying, “We failed the audit, but we never expected to pass it.” “It was an audit on a $2.7 trillion dollar organization, so the fact that we did the audit is substantial,” Shanahan claimed. The first-ever audit of the of the $2.7 trillion enterprise that is the Pentagon identified widespread problems in cybersecurity, but found little in the way of savings that could offset potential budget cuts next year, according to officials. Pentagon’s comptroller David Norquist, who has played a key role in the audit, said after the report release that although no glaring instances of fraud were detected in the US military establishment, its Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Special Operations and the Transportation Command all received failing grades.

“The Outlook For The Global Economy Has Deteriorated”: Oil, Copper And Lumber

Oil, copper and lumber are all telling us the exact same thing, and it isn’t good news for the global economy. When economic activity is booming, demand for commodities such as oil, copper and lumber goes up and that generally causes prices to rise. But when economic activity is slowing down, demand for such commodities falls and that generally causes prices to decline. In recent weeks, we have witnessed a decline in commodity prices unlike anything that we have witnessed in years, and many are concerned that this is a very clear indication that hard times are ahead for the global economy. Let’s talk about oil first. The price of oil peaked in early October, but since that time it has fallen more than 25 percent, and the IEA is warning of “relatively weak” demand out of Asia and Europe…

Amazon Rolling Out ‘Amazon Pay’ Digital Wallet In Physical Stores

As FAANG stocks lead the market lower during what has become a relentless Q4 selloff, Amazon is hoping to reassure anxious investors that the company's relentless expansion and revenue growth will continue. To wit, the company is taking another big step toward establishing itself as the American WeChat or Alipay as it seeks to become the dominant player in electronic consumer payments in the US and beyond. According to the Wall Street Journal, the e-commerce giant is hoping to undercut Apple's Apple Pay by persuading more brick-and-mortar merchants to accept its Amazon Pay digital wallet. As it tries to build a foothold in payments outside of its Amazon Go stores, the company is reportedly focusing on building partnerships with restaurants and gas stations (businesses that have yet to be scalped by the Bezos revenue-absorption machine). To entice owners to give Amazon Pay a try, the company is dangling what appears to be a pretty enticing carrot: Amazon is promising to lower processing costs at a time when so-called "interchange" fees charged by Visa and MasterCard have been rising.

YouTube Lets California Fire Conspiracy Theories Run Wild

The Camp Fire in California has killed at least 79 people, left 699 people unaccounted for, and created more than a thousand migrants in Butte County, California. In these circumstances, reliable information can literally be a matter of life death. But on YouTube, conspiracy theories are thriving. Currently, when a user starts typing “California fire” into YouTube, the top autocomplete search suggestions are “conspiracy 2018,” “agenda 21,” and “laser beam,” all of which refer to conspiracy theories related to California’s wildfires. Similarly, typing in “California wildfire” leads YouTube to suggest “lasers,” “directed energy weapon,” and “dew,” which is an acronym for “directed energy weapon.” Simply typing “California fire” and searching it does return straightforward news coverage, which is an improvement over, say, the false flag and crisis actor conspiracies YouTube was surfacing about the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting earlier this year. Believers of this false California wildfire conspiracy theory think that the US government shoots directed energy weapons, or lasers, from a plane in order to to start fires at predetermined targets. The goal of this attack, which is not actually happening, is to support a bastardized interpretation of “Agenda 21,” a sustainable development plan developed by the United Nations in 1992. This conspiracy theory also gained a little bit of traction on Twitter. The conspiracy theorists use doctored or out-of-context images in order to falsely argue that directed energy weapons, or laser beams, caused the wildfires in California—not climate change. By incorrectly claiming that the houses were consciously struck, these theorists ignore ecological science which explains that the arrangement of homes and topography of the land