The downside of IoT: Kiwis uncomfortable with smart devices listening in

The downside of IoT: Kiwis uncomfortable with smart devices listening in

Credit: ID 115617098 © Khecker | Dreamstime.com A CIO recently says he has attended meetings wherein Siri would pipe in from one of the phones on the table, to say, “Sorry, I did not catch that.” This is an uncomfortable but increasingly common intrusion into people’s privacy, as attested by the results of the latest Unisys Security Index. Unisys recently surveyed 1000 consumers across New Zealand and found 40 per cent of those who own a smart device with listening capability say they have received social media posts and ads about a topic they talked about loud. Just over a quarter (26 per cent) report that while talking aloud, the virtual assistant in their smartphone or smartwatch asked them for more information or to repeat themselves – even though they had not turned it on. Similarly, 23 per cent say that while talking aloud, a voice-activated, home-based smart speaker had asked them for more information or to repeat themselves. Again, they had not turned on the device. In both cases, approximately half of the people who have experienced this say it is a cause for concern. “Voice-activated, command-driven digital assistants embedded in smartphones, smart watches or purpose-built devices such as smart speakers are now common,” says Wellington-based Richard Amer, director for digital government, Unisys Asia Pacific. “However, in an environment where New Zealanders are very aware of data security threats, many Kiwis are concerned that their passion for Internet of Things devices has made their personal conversations and activity vulnerable to being monitored and used in ways we did not intend.” The survey did not ask whether some consumers ditched their smart devices after these experiences. Still, some consumers may take a more hardline stance. Credit: Unisys ‘Many Kiwis are concerned that their passion for IoT devices has made their personal conversations and activity vulnerable to being monitored and used in ways we did not intend’: Richard Amer of Unisys One technology professional believes it is fine to put a tectonic monitor under the house to send seismic activities. But this individual refuses to install a voice controlled device inside the home, saying: “I have decided right now, there isn’t a company that has my trust to be in my intimate environment and to be listening, even if passively, to everything I say.” “I still need sacred space.” Support for data collection Meanwhile, the 2019 Unisys Security Index research also found New Zealanders are selective about which situations they deem acceptable for an organisation to collect data from social media, online purchases, smartphones and wearable devices. Almost half of respondents (47 per cent) support the government collecting this information to identify who is in the vicinity of a disaster. Yet only a fifth of respondents support the government monitoring an individual’s travel patterns to plan roads and public infrastructure. Read more: ​Barry Devlin: ‘Be fully transparent about intended use of data’ Nearly four in 10 (38 per cent) support airports and airlines collecting information to efficiently guide a passenger’s […]

Full article on original web page… www.cio.co.nz

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