Story image

GlobalData: IoT raises massive privacy concerns

The rapid evolution of enterprise Internet of Things (IoT) technology has led to revolutionary use cases that truly justify the term digital transformation. However, the potential privacy implications which come with the advent of IoT are too alarming to ignore, warns leading data and analytics company GlobalData.

Over the last three years, the world’s largest enterprises have gone from mulling the possibilities to piloting IoT deployments that revolutionize business processes by leveraging sensor data, machine learning, analytics and custom applications to create faster, better business outcomes.

The technology making these advanced deployments possible is called converged edge IoT systems, in which vendors such as Hewlett Packard Enterprise deliver a fusion appliance that combines the networking and compute power of contemporary information technology with the control and data acquisition capabilities of operational technology (OT), such as the programmable logic controllers that run most of the world’s energy facilities and manufacturing centers.

By deploying converged edge systems that deliver resources directly to the myriad locations where IoT devices live, enterprises can get transformational IoT projects off the ground without requiring wholesale changes to existing IoT deployments or using cloud-based resources that OT teams often reject.

Shopping malls and parking garages are pursuing IoT deployments that use sensors to locate vehicles and identify empty parking spaces to improve traffic flow and direct drivers to and from their locations more efficiently.

In another innovative use case, AI-assisted video-monitoring software can simultaneously process footage from several security cameras and identify abnormal and potentially criminal or dangerous situations, including theft and violence.

GlobalData Technology Analyst Eric Parizo says, “Some early deployment examples, however, raise questions about risks to individual privacy. 

“Shopping malls and parking garages have been piloting innovative systems to identify shoppers’ age, gender and visual attributes; their actions and sentiments throughout the store; and track specific vehicles.”

“Combining this data into profiles based on the owners of the vehicles may suddenly create revealing snapshots of individuals’ travel and retail habits.”

Against this backdrop, GlobalData feels that there should be a public dialogue to lay the groundwork for thoughtful ethical guidelines so that digital transformation does not come at the cost of individual privacy.

Parizo concludes, “As today’s cutting-edge IoT deployments become more common, it will be increasingly critical for vendors, governments and individuals to consider not only IoT’s tremendous potential but also its potential consequences for privacy in a rapidly evolving world.

Machine learning is a tool and the bad guys are using it
KPMG NZ’s CIO and ESET’s CTO spoke at a recent cybersecurity conference about how machine learning and data analytics are not to be feared, but used.
Popular Android apps track users and violate Google's policies
Google has reportedly taken action against some of the violators.
How blockchain could help stop video piracy in its tracks
An Australian video tech firm has successfully tested a blockchain trial that could end up being a welcome relief for video creators and the fight against video piracy.
IBM X-Force Red & Qualys introduce automated patching
IBM X-Force Red and Qualys are declaring a war on unpatched systems, and they believe automation is the answer.
Micro Focus acquires Interset to improve predictive analytics
Interset utilises user and entity behavioural analytics (UEBA) and machine learning to give security professionals what they need to execute threat detection analysis.
Raising the stakes: McAfee’s predictions for cybersecurity
Security teams and solutions will have to contend with synergistic threats, increasingly backed by artificial intelligence to avoid detection.
Exclusive: Ping Identity on security risk mitigation
“Effective security controls are measured and defined by the direct mitigation of inherent and residual risk.”
CylancePROTECT now available on AWS Marketplace
Customers now have access to CylancePROTECT for AI-driven protection across all Windows, Mac, and Linux (including Amazon Linux) instances.