The Internet of Things: Should we be excited, or scared?

If you haven’t heard the term already, you won’t be able to avoid it soon: “The Internet of Things.” Tech companies are racing to attach small computers and sensors to everything in our lives — coffee cups, pens, toilet paper, cars — and then enabling them to talk to each other.  This creates amazing possibilities. It also creates some frightening possibilities. As I wrote for NBC last week, it’s George Jetson vs. George Orwell.  Perhaps our homes will automagically cater to our every need soon, and we’ll all feel like James Bond. Or perhaps we’ll realize that everything we do is being recorded and watched, and we’ll lose freedom at its core.

What will happen to all the data that is collected? That question has fresh important in the post-Snowden leak world of NSA surveillance.  How will we get into our houses when the door locks are Internet-enabled, and the power goes out? I tried to answer some of these questions here.

Bruce Schneier gets much deeper into the insecurity of the Internet of Things on his blog.

Here’s an easy-to-read McKinsey report on the topic.

And here’s a great Wired story about a researcher aiming at a kinder, gentler “IoT” world.



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About Bob Sullivan 1637 Articles
BOB SULLIVAN is a veteran journalist and the author of four books, including the 2008 New York Times Best-Seller, Gotcha Capitalism, and the 2010 New York Times Best Seller, Stop Getting Ripped Off! His latest, The Plateau Effect, was published in 2013, and as a paperback, called Getting Unstuck in 2014. He has won the Society of Professional Journalists prestigious Public Service award, a Peabody award, and The Consumer Federation of America Betty Furness award, and been given Consumer Action’s Consumer Excellence Award.

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