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Protecting Privacy and Promoting Inclusion with the 'Internet of Things'

"Internet of Things" (IoT) symbolizes a world of exciting new benefits to technologist and innovators that will solve important technical and social problems. To criticizers, Internet of Things IoT symbolizes a world of pervasive surveillance, with toys that spy on kids and devices that are microphone-enabled that record and retain our most personal data. It is directed towards helping chief privacy officers of both large and small companies navigate privacy challenges, at the same time promoting ethical data practices to support emerging technologies, we believe they are both right.
There is a wide range of possible gain ranging from traffic management to healthcare improvements that will be gotten from information network that was created by the IoT. It has the possibility of improving personal safety, public safety, increase consumer convenience, provide environmental benefits and promote business innovation. Consumers will lose trust in improving technologies if we do not possess the right guiding principles or necessary privacy safeguards, in order to ensure that IoT achieves its full potential we need to address security and privacy issues.
Owing to this, a conference for bringing leaders from both government and industry to discuss the future of IoT was recently hosted by Samsung. At the beginning of the conference, vice chairman and CEO at Samsung Electronics Oh-Hyun Kwon, stressed on the matter that the conversation around the possibilities of IoT should stop focusing on smart homes, offices and factories, to smart communities, smart nations and a smarter world with better living standards for everyone, everywhere.
Businesses recently filed for input into a new Department of Commerce green paper on improving the future of IoT. They discussed ways in which IoT technologies have helped in improving the day-to-day quality of life for people with low income, physically challenged and traditionally underserved populations, among others. For example:
  • The OrCam is a video camera that can be worn and is designed for those with low vision which translates text to audio;
  • The first braille smartwatch in the world “The Dot”, it has a series of dull pins that rise and fall at adjustable speeds and allows users to read text messages and e-books;
  • A connected doorbell and home security solution called THE RING, alerts users to motion as soon as it is detected, so they can monitor their door using remotes;
  • Some airports, like the Miami International Airport, have mapped out programs that use beacons to help users find the correct gate and notify them on restaurant and store deals when travelers are walking around; and
  • M2M technology, combined with new payment platform, is increasing access to credit by enabling two new payment methods: pay-as-you-go (PAYG) asset financing, which allows consumers to pay for products over time, and prepaid, where consumers pay for services when they are needed.
We should also bear in mind that IoT technology will not only be more gadget for the rich, but also a platform for improving quality of life for the traditionally underserved. Government policymakers and regulators should not only examine, understand and embrace emerging IoT technologies, but also encourage strategies that are of benefit to everyone, and at the same time apply commonsense privacy protections that build trust in IoT technologies to make sure that consumers enjoy the full benefits of IoT sensors and devices.