IoT Data Privacy Framework


Imagine living in a world of technology where every object around us will be connected. Your home will have sensors that will allow you to control temperature from anywhere. You forgot to lock your garage door, your home will lock it for you. The refrigerator will tell you what type of food you have and give you a recipe when you return home from work. The washing machines will turn on when the energy demand is low on the grid. The coffee maker will have your coffee ready before you wake up in the morning. Your doctor will get real time feed about your health sent to him by an indigestible in your body. Your car will send messages to emergency services soon after an accident to dispatch ambulance. This is the world of Internet of Things (IoT).

Some of the scenarios mentioned above are already here. There are about 3.5 billion active sensors today and experts expect these to reach into trillions within the next decade. However, there are a number of issues that have already surfaced such as interoperability, ease of use, power consumption, and others but the one of the most important ones we need to tackle before IoT takes hold in our digital lives is that of privacy and security of data. As we move towards a completely connected world, will we have the rights to privacy of IoT data? While the connected universe will simplify our daily lives, it certainly brings serious concerns about privacy and security. Who will own the data? Will the governments have access to the data collected from our homes? Who will be in charge of developing, implementing and enforcing privacy? Will consumers be left alone to make decisions about the unfair and unclear privacy and security policies?

This paper discusses the issues with IoT data privacy and security and provides a framework for thinking about these issues.

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Chetan Sharma