Hardpocalypse or IOTopia?

Hardpocalypse or IOTopia?

The IOT panel at DLDSummer had a recap of a few key issues. Let’s list a few so we can dig deeper next time. It’s a rough draft, pardon the hastiness.

1. My private data is at risk

The problem: obvious. Welcome to the NSA. It has always been the case. In fact, it is not only at risk, it is already compromised. Are you assuming any social media output is private?

The way forward: better security, no upload, etc. Also, there might be a generational gap there: younger generations might be living in a largely post-privacy world (baby pictures are online forever, to start with). Older folks will need to adapt or most likely just phase out gracefully.

2. Smart home means hacker burglars

The problem: obvious. They will unlock your door from their phone.

The way forward: Security is an issue, but what is good enough security?

3. Big Brother

The problem: already a big network of CCTV cameras in many cities. The classic scare tactic is to use the four horsemen of the internet apocalypse: pedophiles, porn, drugs and terrorists (is there a cool acronym for this?). That’s how Je Suis Charlie turned into “Loi Renseignement”. Trade freedom for safety.

The way forward: a better definition of privacy according to each culture. Japan resisted Google Street View as it took pictures inside the houses due to low entrance walls, and owners names on gates. US-style privacy need not apply everywhere.

4. “Data Divide”

The problem: I could not find a good name for this but the world of health and insurance and banking might evolve further into a situation where either you open you data and then providers only finance “good players” or you don’t and you either pay lots or get nothing. Which mostly mean get nothing.

What if you don’t have data to offer? Well, you might get offered one as a way to filter you! Self-selection of good actors. It’s on its way for car and dental insurance, what’s next?

We can anticipate a vast “causation/correlation” issue: people using activity trackers have less health risk because… people with bad habits won’t accept to be tracked. Not because activity trackers improve habits.

The way forward: “social laws” preventing invasive / preying policies? Insurance companies are in the business of paying back less than their customers pay, so they are incentivized to cover those that will cost less than they pay.

Partner @ SOSV — $700m VC fund for Deep Tech (biology, robotics, etc.) | Digital Naturalist | Keynote Speaker | Angel Investor

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