Sources claim that by 2019, about two out of every three households will have one IOT device or the other in their houses. The increase in the use of IoT devices would in turn necessitate the introduction of stricter regulations to make sure those devices do not infringe on the individuals’ fundamental human rights. Ranking top on the list of the rights to be protected is the right each person has to privacy which appears to be an unclear area for the manufacturers as well as their consumers.
Safety remains a major concern in any case where getting access to information is in issue. However, the important question is the extent to which technology can go just before rights would begin to be infringed upon.
Already, setting up IoT at home could be a potential target for hacking activities centered around a particular household. Also, the information could also be leaked. IoT devices thrive on inter-connectivity and that implies that some information or even all the information is stored for accessing or referencing at a subsequent period. This is a welcome development for people who intend to improve their homes efficency, but it is also a way through which information can be made available for marketing activities.
Information corporations have quite a wide range of access to personal information through the IoT setup in households.
For instance,Smart fridges keep information like the kind of foods you store in them and the expiration dates of such food items. This appears to be a harmless information and may not seem like any form of privacy infringement. However, in a case when you need to store medication for a sensitive condition, you as a consumer most likely do not want all marketing companies to be aware of that.
Also, virtual assistants such as Amazon Echo and Google Home are very helpful for controlling background music, searching for random information and remaining in control of specific features in your home. However, it remains unknown the amount of information which the devices are aware of, neither is it known whether these assistants record or store normal conversations between the occupants of the house.
The scariest part of home security systems is the possibility of a third party accessing your security system. The intruder will not just know your codes and enter passwords but will be able to access your CCTV cameras, among others. Also if they are hacked, the electronic door locks and gates are also capable of being controlled.
Smart Devices As Gateway
People have different reasons for choosing to add an IoT device as a feature of their home to help them control everything from a specific point. One of such reasons can be is obvious in people with mobility issues that need additional help in evenings when the temperature drops. From their tablet or smartphone device, they get to control everything from shutting doors to controlling their thermostat.
However, a home wireless setup that isn’t adequately protected can be a way to access the network via something as simple as the smart thermostat. That is so because the security measures put in place for the thermostat and other similar appliances are not serious enough.
However, with legal intervention, IOT technology will have more regulations in place to protect users. A continuous inquiry into the effects of the device after installation will be core on the government agenda so as to ensure that clients’ interests are regularly considered. However, a few tweaks and updates to the existing regulations may be required considering that the technology’s effects continue to be seen with every new addition.
Some regulations that will have direct effects on this technology include:
GDPR: There is a need for consumers to know what portion of their information is stored and used. The IOT device is connected to the cloud from where the information is stored, as well as processed to aid the efficiency of the home. However, this gives room for a third party connected also to that cloud to access the information. It is, therefore, necessary to disclose that possibility to the consumers.
E-Privacy regulation- The major purpose of this Act is to respect the individuals’ private lives as well as protect their personal data. The Act is expected to take effect come 2019 although the specific date hasn’t been ascertained. When it comes into full effect, it will directly affect IOT devices used to store personal information like video footage from camera devices among others.
It is not in doubt that IoT devices are a fascinating development, however there ought to be regulations in place to control the operation of this disruptive technology.