I saw an blog post about internet connected light bulbs on lwn.net and it got me thinking how horrible our future with IoT, Internet of Things, will be. Here I will cover the four biggest problems with IoT in my eyes.
Many people are worried about the security of the future IoT devices that will be all around your home. These worries are legitimate, an evil cracker changing your room temperature could raise your bills and overheating some devices might cause fires and substantial damage through that, but mostly the danger here is minor inconveniences such as lights blinking.
Many people are also concerned about the possibility of the manufacturer going bankrupt or just simply stopping the support for your IoT device forcing you to spend money on a newer version. Some of the items that people are starting to connect to the internet could be considered more as a furniture than a machine and that's why I think many people don't expect having to replace their fridge or washing machine every two years. Instead they expect to get at least 10 years out of them, preferably 15. But what if your washing machine's manufacturer stops the support and your item has a bug of some sort? Unfortunately you will be out of luck, either use your half broken machine or get a new one. I find it very unlikely that countries would pass laws that would put some mandatory times for the support and for the types of support for items that are neither computer nor furniture but a bit of both.
What I am most concerned about is the fact that now people are about to lose the their freedom to do whatever they want to the objects they own. People often say that you can take your chair apart and see exactly how it was built, but I'm afraid that soon that won't hold true. It seems to be quite rare that the user has control of what software their objects run and who sees the data they generate.
I am also horribly afraid of the thought how perfect the future will be for the FVEY and other similar organizations. Everyone will have houses full of sensors monitoring their daily activities and building profiles. It will be trivial to monitor who is home and at what times, then as algorithms advance it'll be possible to jump to conclusions from that, who hangs out with whom. Correlating the data with online precedent of people who are trying to retain anonymity on the net will be so easy to do that you might just deanonymize everyone automatically, why do real work when you can let computers do it for you.
I definitely don't want my light bulbs, pillows, plates, water boiler, door handles etc. sending data about me to any company, no matter where they are located. The only connected devices in my futuristic retro home will be my computers and routers, proximity sensors and motion detection cameras.
And all this doesn't even take into the consideration the accurate way criminals such as governmental agencies can image people using WiFi or other radio waves. This technology has already been developed by MIT. Just imagine the accuracy that it will have when there are radios on everything.