The unsuspecting consumer eager to partake of the benefits of the Internet of Things will seldom ask the questions they should to protect their privacy and maintain control of their environment. Before buying and installing any IoT device, consumers should clearly understand how the device is managed as well as the location and control of any data collected by the device. Unbeknownst to most consumers, many of the latest Internet-connected home automation devices are indirectly controlled using cloud-based management techniques. Equally invisible to consumers is the silent monitoring and data collection by these IOT devices.
Recent surveys have shown that consumers dislike the data mining of their Internet activity and most don’t trust the government and companies to protect their privacy. Yet few understand, as the Internet of Things invades their homes, cars and even the clothes they wear, that the amount of data being collected often without their knowledge or permission is rapidly growing. Who controls this data and how it will be used is far more important to consumers than the extremely unlikely chance their cell phone metadata will be swept up by the NSA. This is real and this is happening now.