The Internet of Me, Myself & I

What happens when the gadgets you wear also control the things around you?

No doubt you've heard of various internet-connected things like light bulbs, coffee makers and thermostats making their way into our homes. And no doubt, you've probably heard of such devices that you wear (or insert) to track your fitness, sleeping or even blood sugar levels. But when that sleeping monitor can alert the light bulb and coffee machine that you are about to wake up, that's called the Internet of Self. Data from your body that is used to control the objects around you. Your body controls the your environment, without you even knowing.

Cool and for me, a bit unnerving at the same time.

A ComputerWorld article talks about all the amazing ways this is going to change our lives. For example, there is sleep monitoring technology that can alert a light bulb to turn on gradually as if it is a sunrise, based on your own sleep patterns. Forget those eye squints when the calm darkness suddenly disappears with the flip of a switch. The light is now taking commands from your body. Automakers are installing technology that monitors your face & eyes and if you start doing the doze-dip with your head, it'll alert you to pull over or even pull you over itself. Even your home security cameras can take a look at your face, compare it to a database, and unlock your garage and doors. The unlocking of the door tells the kitchen or any other room to turn on the lights. Your biometric data is controlling the things around you. Clothing will have stress meters, cars with breathalyzers, belts that auto extend after a big meal. You get the picture.

Congress also has some concerns. Reps. Darrell Issa, (R-CA)., and Suzan DelBene, (D-WA) have formed a new Congressional Caucus on the Internet of Things to educate members about the issue. This is to educate members so they can make more informed policy decisions about this technology. The big issue is protecting consumer's privacy as more sensitive personal information is being sent and received by a growing number of these things. Hacked data and the prying eyes of the government and other entities are tops on their list.

The FCC has asked that they hold off on any legislation tied directly to IoT since it is evolving so fast but did recommend that a data breach bill requiring 30 day consumer notification of a breach be passed. People have already been infiltrated through their thermostats and there was news yesterday that certain smart-TV's will capture and send your private conversations - if picked up by the voice recognition - to a third party data processor. Add to that, robots are already attacking within the home. Forget zombies, vacuums are the real threat.

The ComputerWorld article make this IoSelf seem so easy with just an app and a device - it's just 'easy to create software.' Not exactly. While some apps, I'm sure, are easy to create, there is much more than just an app and device going an actual application in a data center for the app &/or device to communicate with and the proper security protections for such transactions. The article seems to gloss over any cautions and there is no mention of privacy, security or any of the potential risks involved with the Internet of Self. Do I really want my various biometrics stored in some third-party cloud somewhere just so I can unlock my front door with a wink? Probably not.

For now, I'm happy to pull out my physical keys, hand turn the knob and use my index finger to disable the alarm. I know it is I who did it, not some reasonable facsimile thereof.



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Published Feb 10, 2015
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