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Smartwatch or Spyware? Considering Privacy & IoT

The spread of Internet-enabled gadgets means that more data is collected about our daily lives than ever before. Smartwatches track locations and health conditions while in-home devices learn our daily habits. Combined with big data, this information reveals an intimate portrait. And with the number of connected things expected to hit 25 billion by 2020, tech companies are poised to have incredible insight into consumer behavior. Yet all of this innovation raises privacy concerns. Policymakers are already urging companies to safeguard this data, which is already being used in lawsuits. And if consumers feel their privacy is threatened, they may turn their backs on the Internet of Things.

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. What are the primary privacy concerns when it comes to the spread of Internet connected devices? What's being collected about customers, and why?
  2. What should established IoT firms and startups consider when it comes to developing robust privacy policies to protect consumer data?
  3. If the private sector doesn't act to safeguard the data they collect, should the government intervene? What impact will that have on innovation?



Michael Farrell, Cybersecurity Editor, The Christian Science Monitor

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