The Prolific Outburst of IOT in Our Lives – An Intrusion to Privacy?

iotTechnology is all around us and evolving with every passing moment. Internet of Things is a new milestone achieved by technology. IOT is increasing the connectedness of people and things around them on a scale which once was unimaginable.

The future is IOT dominant. Smartphones, which every man possesses could possibly become the most portable and convenient medium to control smart devices. Smartphones therefore, are an essential component to build the smart community. Smart Television, refrigerators, washing machines are some of the IOT devices examples which are now easily available almost everywhere. Companies like LG, Samsung etc are pushing the technology, to help make life easy and convenient.

“IOT is ready to go… It’s not science fiction anymore — it is science fact,” said Samsung Electronics CEO B.K. Yoon. He explained how the IOT would work for them by citing an example- if a consumer takes off his earphones after reaching home, IOT can automatically start up the music playing in earphone through the home speaker system. He further added that all IOT devices will be open to connection, that means an IOT device will be able to connect and receive sensors from any other IOT device that wants to connect.


According to the above graphical depiction released by technology firm Xively, by 2020, around 40 billion smart devices will be in use. For every man there will be at least 10 connected objects by 2020.

However, certain IOT projects, such as smart cities, are still a distant dream. Once, the objects around us adopt the technology, only then the city project can be worked upon.

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The data clearly shows the pace at which IoT is growing. But with the world becoming totally mechanised, it is a bit of a concern as human essence or man to man relation will suffer. Man will become machine dependent totally.

IOT has the potential to transform people’s lives. However, questions regarding security and privacy surrounds it. IOT devices manufacturers should be concerned with the security and privacy of its smart devices users, as 70% of the 10 most popular types of Internet of Things ‘smart’ devices are vulnerable to being hacked or compromised.


Image Source: ComputerWorld

The above image shows that 90% of the devices collected personal information from the device or its connected cloud service or its mobile app. And 70% of devices used unencrypted network services to transmit data. Moreover, six out of 10 devices that provide user interfaces were vulnerable to a range of issues such as persistent cross-site scripting (XSS) and weak default credentials. Around, 80% of IOT devices with their accompanying mobile components and cloud services suffer from insufficient authorization.

Also Read: ‘Privacy’ a Modern Myth?

Smart devices such as connected toys, cars, home security locks etc. can pose a threat to security, as hackers can hack their operating system and control the device causing harm as well as loss to the owner. For example, if the home security locks get hacked then it would be easy for the thieves to break into the house or steal your connected car.

Security software provider, Symantec in its blog said, smart devices will be as susceptible to hackers and malware threats as PCs and mobile phones.

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Anti-virus softwares have been designed and regularly upgraded to prevent contamination in computer systems and smartphones. However, such softwares have not been introduced to the market for the connected gadgets like smart-watches , smart-cars etc.

Invasion of privacy has always been a major concern to the masses. Even, the NSA was accused of mass surveillance when it was found to be tracing and tracking people’s online personal information and conversations.

As discussed above, there will be ten connected objects for every person by 2020, that means 10 gadgets prone to hacking as well. Nevertheless, the possibility of the gadgets being hacked or being contaminated with malware would also increase. Thus, to ensure safe functioning of smart gadgets, it is imperative for the government to enforce certain security laws, and also for the tech companies to develop effective guarding softwares for their gadgets.