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Things are shaping our society – @AndreasKrisch #exsum13

Sogeti Labs
October 15, 2013

KrischAndreas Krisch, Privacy Advocate at the European Digital Rights Institute, presented a passionate plea for making sure that we do things right, with regards to how technology can be used in a beneficial way. ‘What if these Things can measure and record everything we do? What does the interconnection of Things mean for our privacy?’ As an example, Krisch discussed a scenario for optimizing traffic, where all players communicate with each other and the whole system can be optimized. Cars, tunnels, traffic lights, toll cameras could all connect and share data. But…. In the traditional way of doing things, we lose the way of doing things privately. Privacy gives us the right to choose who knows what about us, and it is highly relevant in our society, for example: –       It allows us to consult with a labor union. –       It allows us to freely discuss with our friends. –       It allows us to independently form our opinions. –       It is at the basis of our democratic system (e.g. ballots). –       It fits our need to define different roles in life that are not always matching. Data created by IoT can provide extremely detailed information about our behavior, our social networks, interest, health status and any other aspect of our lives. On top of that, the data can often be found or used out of context, leading to unwanted and wrong inferences about us. And what about the government? There is no information that will not be collected by governments. And do they do it to catch 5 or 100 terrorists? Or is there a second interest? Privacy is not just for individuals, it’s also for businesses trying to protect their trade secrets, their competitive advantage. Don’t do things in the traditional way! ‘Do it the smart way. For example, we can build an anonymous travel system. Think privacy first. Integrate privacy into your requirements from the start. Do privacy impact assessments. It will ultimately save money and earn the trust and loyalty of customers.’ People often say that data is the new oil, but perhaps we should rethink before we start in earnest. Like oil spills and global warming were the unwanted side effects of choosing oil, we don’t want to sacrifice privacy by making the wrong choices early on. Let therefore IoT data better be the empowering wind of the coming decades.

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