in Digital & Tech

Is the Internet the next weapon of mass disruption/destruction?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is here and it’s vulnerable. It was attacked last Friday and you can read about it in this report. Governments are going to spring on this opportunity to tighten control on policy and regulations with the help of concerned voters. This is a critical time and event in Internet and human history. A necessary “break” in technology advancement which has been moving at a furious pace the last few years. It’s probably a needed one before the IoT becomes the next weapon of mass disruption/destruction… which it probably already is unfortunately.  It is not a matter of “if” it breaks but “when”. We have been building it too quickly the past decade since mobile devices arrived and catalyzed the growth of IoT.

In summary as you probably have read this already in the link above or elsewhere, a botnet was launched in the form of malware infected insecure IoT devices with factory default settings to take down DNS (Domain Name Servers) routers and websites in the process that rely on DNS. I wonder if this is going to have negative implications on the expanding number of top level TLDs ICANN is currently promoting and launching to offer more choice to companies in the form of domain names and also allow consumers to register more meaningful domain names to suit their purpose. The reliance on DNS to match domain names to server IP addresses may push the acceleration of Apps which do not need the DNS or domain names to run. They run in the cloud and directly on the devices they are installed on.

While the IoT was compromised on Friday another sudden and somewhat secretive event happened when Googles updated their privacy policy now stating that they will start to serve advertising with cross-device targeting. Up until now Google could have done this but refused to do so as they felt it was an invasion of peoples privacy and would go against their philosophy to “do no evil”. What this policy update means is that Google can now target you with ads across the Internet based on the data generated from you interacting with your personal devices if they are somehow connected to, or data is sold by third parties, and eventually finds its way into the Google data centers and connected to the existing data they have about you.

With the IoT upon us and growing, Google understands that they can no longer ignore this and must play along with the industry or risk being pushed by competitors that target advertising cross device to deliver more meaningful advertising to Internet users. These targeted ads are based on our activity within personal devices we are starting to adopt and connect to the Internet called now the Internet of Things (IoT). These can range from smart phones to fitness wearable to smart TVs and smart home devices like thermostats (Google own NEST) and even cars (we all know Google is building those), smart fridges, Google Home (their new voice activate home control center) …you name it…anything that is smart and connected to the Internet really.

The Internet of everything (follows the Internet of Things) is coming and Google is getting ready to monetize its advertising empire through the data generated from us connecting to it.

Basically if you opt in and have a fitness tracker somehow connected to the google ecosystem, google can personalize ads based on the data that’s available from the tracker…. not reaching you weight loss goals? Here is an ad to help you loose weight… Here is an article that further talks about this topic and where search advertising is headed.

Yesterday I published a post I wrote earlier this year noting the sudden increase in policy updates from google. This was the start of the meaningful connections theory I am developing.

Last weekend, this appeared on slashdotGoogle Has Quietly Dropped Ban On Personally Identifiable Web Tracking

And here is what they changed:

google-policy-update

And here is another article talking about this topic on Engadget. Note this text which related the the meaningful connections article I published yesterday:

Until last summer. That’s when the search giant quietly asked account owners to opt-in to sharing more data, an oblique request for permission to bundle user browser activity with personally-identifying information to better cater ads. In essence, signing up lets Google’s ads know who you are no matter where you go across different devices.

Back to the IoT security breach, over the weekend this article was published talking about the EU already talking about fast imposing new rules and regulation to help prevent or at least mitigate the risk of this happening again…if that is at all possible?

The European Commission is drafting new cyber-security requirements to beef up security around so-called Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as Web-connected security cameras, routers and digital video recorders (DVRs). News of the expected proposal comes as security firms are warning that a great many IoT devices are equipped with little or no security protections.

If you read the last few paragraph of this article you will note some concerning repercussions this event will have on many involved, especially the manufacturers of IoT devices which are reported to be from china. From China? Could these IoT manufactured devices be a Trojan horse allowing cyber terrorists to attack countries and take down the Internet infrastructure we are all so reliant on? A far cry but it totally possible…and maybe its happening already before our noses…

Anyway…I will end on a more positive note 🙂

The Internet of Things/Everything is coming whether we want it or not. Its coming because we need it. We need it to fix the inefficiencies we have created from a fast growing population: healthcare, energy, pollution can all be addressed and improved with smart IoT devices and the use of technology and data. It brings us value, it empowers us and ultimately it should make us happier as a society. It is us that is building it for ourselves and we do have full control over how and why we build it. But can humans be trusted? We do not have a very good track record … Time will tell where this all leads to. I hope towards a better world where people anywhere on the planet and beyond can live more empowered and happier lives in harmony with technology and all the awesome things it can bring us.

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