The Internet of Things is going through a boom right now with many rival tech companies coaxing us to nest their products in our homes, workplaces, cars, you name it. These Internet of Things or IoT devices refer to devices connected to the internet which can link with other devices and communicate without human-to-computer or human-to-human interactions.
From intelligent thermostats to security cameras to virtual assistants who can be told to play music, all these devices are presented as extremely cheap and “must-haves” for the bargain price. But actually this is because these devices’ only purpose isn’t to make your life easier.
The data collected by these IoT devices daily isn’t going in one ear and out the other. It gets stored and accumulated until it is sent back to the manufacturer, who often has complete ownership and control over it because of those parasitic terms and conditions agreements. Not only does the initial product’s company have this data to be able to manipulate you into purchasing more devices. But they also create more revenue from you buying their cheap products by selling your data to other businesses.
Perhaps now isn’t the best time to purchase these life hacking devices. The nature of data collection is still in this “wild west” stage where there isn’t a lot of authority keeping big companies in check. There first needs to be restraints put on what these companies can do with information that belongs to their customers. Or it needs to be made clearer what exactly we are forfeiting when we accept those terms and conditions on our shiny new home assistants. Either way we must stop being so complacent before we lose our very ability to choose.

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