Once again the gift-giving season is upon us and many people, both adults and children alike, will receive internet-enabled gifts.
But the question remains, can we achieve convenience without compromising our safety, security, and privacy? Or even more importantly, who owns and controls any device information that is sent into the cloud? And, can that information be aggregated and sold, even anonymously, by the device’s manufacturer – perhaps to ratings services or market research companies?
Since any information generated and stored in the cloud can be obtained with a subpoena, what is the likelihood that your device can be used to establish your presence at a crime scene or be used as part of the prosecution’s case against you?
Bottom line …
Perhaps as we wind down 2017, you may wish to give a contribution to a consumer advocacy group that is concerned with protecting your digital privacy rights in a mostly analog world. No, I am not speaking about the American Communist Lawyers Union (ACLU), but the EFF – the Electronic Frontier Foundation – an advocacy group dedicated to ensuring that your rights and freedoms are enhanced and protected as our use of technology grows. (www.eff.org).
You may also wish to think twice before accepting and installing one of those smart devices. Especially the ones that can record conversations and store them in the cloud.
Those who are charged with maintaining confidential medical and financial information should be doubly wary. And, let us not forget those older baby monitors which may transmit clear speech on open communications channels. It might be an apocryphal, but believable, story that a group was able to get a heads up on a merger/acquisition by monitoring the baby monitor of an investment banker.
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius