Get ready.

“Everything is becoming a computer. Your microwave is a computer that makes things hot. Your refrigerator is a computer that keeps things cold.[…] It’s only a matter of time before people get messages on their car screens saying that the engine has been disabled and it will cost $200 in bitcoin to turn it back on.” From: The Future of Ransomware – Schneier on Security

You might think that the Internet of Things is a bad idea. You might think that a lot of people agree with you. You might think that it’s high time we all pushed back against the Internet of Things and said NO. The problem is that it doesn’t matter. Manufactures don’t care what we want, not when they can shove the IOT down our throats. But why?

They are pushing the IOT concept so hard because industry has fallen deeply in love with the idea of big data and, as a side effect, they’ve also ended up falling in love with mass surveillance, which is built into the basic idea of the IOT in the first place.

One thing that’s so galling about this is the fact that Big Data is kind of a pipe dream at this point. Sure, lots of people are getting rich off of it, but it’s mostly the people who are good at selling others on the idea itself rather than reaping the benefits of gigantic datasets. It makes people rich the same way that snake oil makes people rich.

The dream that those salespeople are selling is the notion that, through massive amounts of data, surveilled from your customers and elsewhere you can make unlimited money with zero risk. It’s not the money part of that dream that makes it so irresistible to corporations, it’s the zero risk part. What if every decision was the right decision? That’s the (so far, unfulfilled) promise of Big Data.

I have reason to believe that it’s not going to work. But it’s too late. We’ll get IOT because companies want the data it will generate. We’ll get slammed by malware and hackers because anything that can follow instructions can be hacked. All because corporate greed has the companies that define our lives on a wild goose chase. So, not only will life be demonstrably more annoying, but it will also be for no good reason.

 

 

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