If you follow the news surrounding the internet of things (IoT), you know that security issues have long been a key concern for IoT consumers, enterprises, and vendors. Those issues are very real, but I’m becoming increasingly convinced that related but fundamentally different privacy vulnerabilities may well be an even bigger threat to the success of the IoT.
In June alone, we’ve seen a flood of IoT privacy issues inundate the news cycle, and observers are increasingly sounding the alarm that IoT users should be paying attention to what happens to the data collected by IoT devices.
Predictably, most of the teeth-gnashing has come on the consumer side, but that doesn’t mean enterprises users are immune to the issue. One the one hand, just like consumers, companies are vulnerable to their proprietary information being improperly shared and misused. More immediately, companies may face backlash from their own customers if they are seen as not properly guarding the data they collect via the IoT. Too often, in fact, enterprises shoot themselves in the foot on privacy issues, with practices that range from tone-deaf to exploitative to downright illegal—leading almost two-thirds (63%) of consumers to describe IoT data collection as “creepy,” while more than half (53%) “distrust connected devices to protect their privacy and handle information in a responsible manner.”