Privacy and the Internet of Things

 

Your fitness tracker knows when you’ve skipped your spinning class. Your TV knows you’ve been binge watching old episodes of Friends. Your fridge may soon know that you’re out of milk — and how much ice cream you’ve been eating.

Simple steps such as checking how your personal information will be used and shared and turning off Internet-connected devices when you don’t need them can help reduce privacy risks.

More and more everyday objects are connected through the Internet. Researchers predict there will be 50 billion connected devices active by 2020. These range from “smart home” technologies such as security systems and digital assistants to connected toys to sensor-equipped cars that can diagnose engine problems and track how fast you drive.

Increased connectivity offers conveniences such as never running out of milk again, but it can also create risks for your privacy.

As the Internet of Things grows, your daily activities and behaviours are increasingly being tracked, measured and analyzed. This raises questions such as: Who will be able to see your information? How will your information be used? What can you do to control how your personal information is used and shared?

Here are some simple tips to help you to protect your privacy while enjoying the benefits of Internet-connected devices.

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