Early this year, the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show displayed a variety of gadgets that mix and match everyday objects with more advanced connectivity and functionalities. There were high-definition TVs that can connect online to stream the latest shows, a bracelet that can warn of UV exposure, and even a bowl that can charge whatever is placed inside it.
While all of these new smart devices received praise from consumers who couldn't wait for them to hit the market, some issues were also raised—specifically, companies who develop these technologies wil use the data they gather through these devices.
Keeping data safe from cybercriminals is another security issue smart device users face. What used to be simple “dumb” devices like thermostat controllers, door locks, and refrigerators are now equipped with advanced Internet-connected features that hackers can access for malicious purposes.
In the near future, it will be possible for consumers to keep logs of their daily routines just by looking at their smart devices. A proactive alarm system can show a person’s sleeping patterns. Smart refrigerators can reveal what food a person orders and eats. Wearable fitness bracelets can monitor a person’s health condition. Even smart glasses let people keep images of the people they see.
As such, switching to “smarter” living may not necessarily mean living smarter. Given that cybercriminals follow users where they think they can profit the most, it's easy to expect that the IoE is going to be a big target. Devices that can record a user's consumer habits and store data are attractive sources of information that can be sold for profit. And once these personal devices are made "smart" and given a connection, they're vulnerable to hacking and data theft.
Take a look at a side-by-side comparison of old-fashioned or “dumb” devices and their modern or “smart” counterparts and see how they can affect the daily lives of individuals in the future.
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