Safety, Security, and Privacy Threats Posed by Accelerating Trends in the Internet of Things

by   Kevin Fu, et al.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is already transforming industries, cities, and homes. The economic value of this transformation across all industries is estimated to be trillions of dollars and the societal impact on energy efficiency, health, and productivity are enormous. Alongside potential benefits of interconnected smart devices comes increased risk and potential for abuse when embedding sensing and intelligence into every device. One of the core problems with the increasing number of IoT devices is the increased complexity that is required to operate them safely and securely. This increased complexity creates new safety, security, privacy, and usability challenges far beyond the difficult challenges individuals face just securing a single device. We highlight some of the negative trends that smart devices and collections of devices cause and we argue that issues related to security, physical safety, privacy, and usability are tightly interconnected and solutions that address all four simultaneously are needed. Tight safety and security standards for individual devices based on existing technology are needed. Likewise research that determines the best way for individuals to confidently manage collections of devices must guide the future deployments of such systems.


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