Are we the owners of our data?

Mobile phones will be overshadowed in 2018 by the Internet of Things, which will become “the largest category of connected devices,” says the Ericsson Mobility Report.

In as little as five years, there will be 9B mobile subscriptions, 7.7B mobile broadband subscriptions, and 6.3B smartphone subscriptions, Ericsson estimates, and 5G will play a significant role in increasing network capacity.

With an expected increase to 16 billion connected devices by 2021, security concerns grow around the proliferation of IoT sensors stocked with users’ personal data. These sensors collect information about daily activities, sleep schedule, fitness routine, location and other preferences, details that can be difficult to control as we grant our smart home and wearables permission to monitor our lives.

Our private information could easily be sent to insurance companies and advertisers, or it could easily fall into the hands of hackers. The stolen data might at any time be used against us.

IoT motion sensors are developed not only for personal use and entertainment, but also for medical care, to measure pollution and noise levels in cities, to save energy and help improve lighting in cities, and logistics, among others.

There is deep concern around these entry points engineers are unintentionally creating, without developing security strategies to protect privacy and reduce risk.

“Now the critical question for companies is how to create a strategic framework that optimizes IoT solution ROI in concert with connected endpoint growth. Growth will be driven by a massive uptick in contextually-aware IoT endpoints across retail, advertising and supply chain, smart home, and industrial IoT markets,” said Ryan Martin, senior analyst at ABI Research.

With no current policy strictly focused on data privacy and a multitude of connected devices under development, hackers could take advantage of many loose ends to corrupt software and cause data breaches.

Will vendors embrace privacy laws and guidelines across regions or will they focus only on profit?

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