Are Hearables and the IoT Affecting Your Privacy?

Security is always an issue when it comes to the IoT, but what about privacy? With so many devices listening in like the Amazon Echo, what exactly is being done to make sure the things you say aren’t being recorded or listened to by someone? The device IS connected to the internet after all, and we all know that hackers can target anything these days.

Well, the truth is that some devices that listen in actually do record what you’re saying. They share these recordings right to the cloud, too. Some of these recordings are because of laws or company policies requiring certain employee-client interactions to be recorded. Others might be for real-time language translations to someone in a different country. Whatever the reason, you should make sure you know what your device is and isn’t sending. A good word of warning is to never give sensitive information out, such as credit card numbers, when using such a device.

So what’s being done about this on the larger scale? Honestly, not a whole lot just yet. These devices have sprung up very fast and regulations haven’t had much time to develop. Questions must be asked though. Should employers be allowed to monitor each and every employee interaction in the workplace? Or perhaps they should be given a certain degree of privacy. But where does that privacy start and end? On another line, should those same employers be allowed to sell these conversations to research firms?

These sorts of questions are difficult to answer, both ethically and legally. Where does one draw the line and what do the answers mean to legality in court? Certainly, if one did wrong and bragged about it or threatened someone in work, it should be admissible, correct? But then at the same time, what if they were only blowing off steam or even joking around and were actually innocent.

With projections saying that hearables will be somewhere around the £4 billion area by 2020, avoiding them may be near impossible, anyway.  For a brief look at what the future of this industry might be, check out this device called “The Aware”, meant to be a headphone with brain and biometric scanning.

The fact is that this technology is already here and has been for a while. Right now, regulations are few and far between. I would expect them to start becoming more commonplace on devices that listen soon, though. Until then, I suggest you err on the side of caution before buying a hearable device. You never know what rule or regulation might start cropping up now that the IoT is becoming more and more real each day.

Time to take the Instinct for a Test Drive!

Vehicles are one of the world’s most used items, and soon, the Internet of Things will be helping drivers. Soon though, may be sooner than you think, thanks to the Instinct Concept.

Just a few days ago, Peugeot, a French car manufacturer, unveiled the Instinct Concept. The vehicle blends self-driving tech, home automation, and cloud-based connectivity to help define user profiles. It pulls in information from wearables, phones, and other connected gear to adapt and improve your driving experience.

It doesn’t just gather information though, it also allows you to connect to those devices from inside the vehicle. You can easily review your calendar, plan things with the virtual assistant, or even check viewing schedules on your television to know what you might want to watch when you come home. There’s a number of different things you could connect and could do, all from inside the Instinct Concept.

Peugeot isn’t alone in this endeavor. A number of other automakers have started designing their own smart cars already.  The key difference with them is that many chose to partner with Amazon’s Alexa. Peugeot, however, decided to go with Samsung’s cloud platform for data collection. With it, as it would be with Alexa, the vehicle will have it’s very own AI.  Using their AI, you’ll be able to easily speak vocal cues to control it in a variety of ways.

Of course, it wouldn’t be much of a smart car if it couldn’t adapt to your driving needs, now would it? The Instinct Concept has two driving modes and two self-driving modes. Yes, that’s right — we’re finally getting to a place where driving will become obsolete. That’s not to say it will be commonplace any time soon, but the Instinct Concept is a stepping stone to that very thing.

One of the self driving modes, dubbed Autonomous Sharp, allows for the quickest journey from point A to point B. Best used for work, appointments, and the like. The other mode, Autonomous Soft, gives people a view and more comfort. This mode is best used for road trips or exploring a city, or even just naps if that’s what you’re looking for.

Before you pull out your wallet though, know that the Instinct Concept is not yet available for sale. The vehicle has not yet been tested even though the underlying technology has been extensively. Their timeline right now is to aim for a 2020 release, so get excited for the future, because it’s coming at you fast!