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Internet of Things Done Wrong Stifles Innovation
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Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
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7/7/2014 | 1:13:57 PM
All about motive
I  get that people worry about someone hacking into their IoT-enabled refrigerator and seeing how much diet soda they actually drink, but the big question I have is, why would they care?

Attackers go where the money is. They attack caches of credit card numbers. The effort needed to get access to a typical smart home would not be offset by the reward.
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
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7/7/2014 | 2:01:26 PM
Re: All about motive
I would go so far as to say that the IoT stiffles innovation. Connecting people prompted the communications revolution, but connecting machines doesn't do the same. Most of what machines have to tell us isn't that valuable, yet companies see such connectivity as comparable to the importance of the Internet and the Web. It's not.
ghijkmnop
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ghijkmnop,
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7/7/2014 | 2:02:31 PM
Re: All about motive
The data/identity thieves are indeed a major threat, but the data MINERS can be far more insideous-- especially if they report to insurance companies. Criminals may go after large amounts of money from a small group of people, but legitimate businesses can be content with 1% more, as long as it's from hundreds of thousands of people.
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
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7/7/2014 | 2:31:56 PM
Re: All about motive
Think about that, though - the point of IPv6 is that we have essentially unlimited IP addresses. So, each fridge, thermostat and toaster gets its own, and presumably, the manufacturer takes some precautions not to connect data with the identity of the owner, so that's another step.

How is it feasible to exploit such a system for data mining of what I eat or my favorite indoor temp? Again, risk vs effort vs reward. 
DonQ765
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DonQ765,
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7/7/2014 | 2:42:03 PM
Re: All about motive
Unless the reward is hacking a home owners garage door opener or smart locks...hack the home, steal the property
Shane M. O'Neill
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Shane M. O'Neill,
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7/7/2014 | 2:55:42 PM
Re: All about motive
One unsettling scenario: Sophisticated hackers teaming up with lower level burglers to hack into houses, swipe valuables, and share the spoils. Makes me very hesitant to ever have a home alarm system that's IoT-connected
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
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7/7/2014 | 2:57:21 PM
Re: All about motive
Sure, in a high-end neighborhood or where you know the home contains valuable, portable and easily sellable items.

However, again, lacking that certainty, you're doing a fair amount of work with no guarantee of a payoff, and adding the possibility of the homeowner having a big dog -- or being a fan of the second amendment and castle doctrine. Just not seeing widespread feasibility. 

 
Ali Alkhafaji
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Ali Alkhafaji,
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7/7/2014 | 3:02:42 PM
We always find a way..
The scariest part about innovation isn't just the speed but the acceleration as well. Innovation becomes faster every moment and constant adaptation is no longer an advantage but a requirement. However, even as security, safety and adaptation are far behind innovation, we always find a way to get there. Mind you there will be quite a few hiccups along the way that will call for urgency in getting those three up to speed.
ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
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7/7/2014 | 3:14:11 PM
Re: All about motive
Tom, I could agree with your statement that "most of what machines have to tell us isn't that valuable." But the exception -- the breakdown, the leak, the absence of breathing -- can be extraordinarily valuable. That's stuff that companies can put a price on, and decide if the cost of collecting the data is worth the pay off. 
zerox203
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zerox203,
User Rank: Ninja
7/8/2014 | 1:08:20 AM
Re: Internet of Things Done Wrong Stifles Innovation

Thanks for this, Frank. IoT is a hot topic these days (I feel like I'm seeing more and more articles on the front page of InformationWeek every day), and it's easy to see why. It has the potential to positively affect our everyday lives... and negatively affect them, as you rightly point out, which gets people passionate and talking about it. It also lights our sc-fi loving nerd hearts on fire with all the crazy possibilities that could happen, which doesn't hurt. Still, there are very real and practical concerns that bear talking about before we get in over our heads, not after.

In my humble opinion, regulations are an inherently iffy topic when it comes to IoT. After all, all 'IoT' really means is 'an internet-connected computer inside a device that's not a computer' (or, devices that don't already normally have computers in them). So that brings up the questions of:

1) How can you regulate that? You can't really tell manufacturers what they are and aren't allowed to ship for IoT any more than anywhere else. It's up to the consumers to buy it or not.

2) Who's to say existing laws/regulations don't already apply to these devices - and, if so, who decides which ones and how they're adhered to?

3) Why would manufacturers do any more work than they have to? Pontificating that 'we shouldn't cut corners' never really caused anybody not to, did it? They're trying to get stuff to market ASAP... and many won't do anything not absolutely required.



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