The US based Pew Research Center has published the results of study into attitudes to IoT saying most experts believe IoT will continue to expand successfully over the next few years, despite wide concern about cyber attacks, outages and privacy violations.
In mid 2016 the Pew Research Center and Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center conducted what it says was “a large canvassing of technologists, scholars, practitioners, strategic thinkers and other leaders,” asking them to react to its framing of IoT
As billions more everyday objects are connected in the Internet of Things, they are sending and receiving data that enhances local, national and global systems as well as individuals’ lives. But such connectedness also creates exploitable vulnerabilities.
As automobiles, medical devices, smart TVs, manufacturing equipment and other tools and infrastructure are networked, is it likely that attacks, hacks or ransomware concerns in the next decade will cause significant numbers of people to decide to disconnect, or will the trend toward greater connectivity of objects and people continue unabated?
It describes the canvassing as “non-scientific and says that, of the 1201 responses 15 percent said significant numbers would disconnect and 85 percent said most people will move more deeply into connected life.
The body of the report comprises exploration of seven themes on the future of IoT and connected life, which the report summarises as follows.
People crave connection and convenience, and a tech-linked world serves both goals well
It’s only human to connect, and there are many advantages. It’s magical, even addictive.
As life increases in complexity, convenience is the default setting for most people.
The always-online younger generation can’t imagine being anything but connected.
Unplugging is nearly impossible now; by 2026 it will be even tougher
Resistance is futile: Businesses will penalize those who disconnect; social processes reward those who connect. Fully withdrawing is extremely difficult, maybe impossible.
You can’t avoid using something you can’t discern. So much of the IoT operates out of sight that people will not be able to unplug completely.
Risk is part of life. The Internet of Things will be accepted, despite dangers, because most people believe the worst-case scenario would never happen to them.
More people will be connected and more will withdraw or refuse to participate.
Some will embrace it and some will ”opt out before it happens”.
Right now the IoT isn’t that grand, so why worry either way?
Human ingenuity and risk-mitigation strategies will make the Internet of Things safer.
Effective regulatory and technology-based remedies will emerge to reduce threats.
Governments should be doing more to regulate negligent companies, punish bad actors.
Notable numbers will disconnect.
Lack of trust, safety and privacy issues and more may move those with fears to withdraw.
Corporate intransigence, short sightedness and misguided thinking create vulnerabilities.
“TMI” and less-than-stellar performance from complex tech systems will drive dropouts.
Whether or not people disconnect, the dangers are real. Security and privacy issues will be magnified by the rapid rise of the Internet of Things.
Threats are likely to turn into attacks and other acts, possibly some violent.
The rise of the IoT and security concerns amplifies endangerment of and worries over civil liberties.
The report The Internet of Things Connectivity Binge: What are the Implications? is available here.