29 Apr

The Internet of Things or properly IoT is a neologism that has been used widely in recent years, it represent all the technology connected to the network that allows objects to acquire their own intelligence to communicate directly with users and serve them according to their needs.

Smart objects are the future, they are a real revolution and have unimaginable properties and functionalities until a few years ago. From data processing to personal habits, they are one of the major groups that grind Big Data. However not all that glitters is gold and, even in this case, there are problems and hitches that are sometimes underestimated.

Obviously the Internet of Things doesn't just boast positive but also negative aspects. Using connected systems has a huge advantage but it also leads to deficits of different nature, primarily in terms of privacy and security, as well as maintenance and therefore costs.

1. Privacy at risk: a problem common to many systems

The devices that exploit IoT are structured to be connected with the environment that surrounds them and sometimes with users. This means that to be so responsive to commands and needs, they must "spy" the people who use them. In practice in this way they have the ability to capture the information necessary for their operation but also a whole other set of data that it would be good not to transmit. In practice, privacy is at risk because these systems are not able to separate useful information from sensitive information. Smart bulbs detect when a user is at home, when he sleeps, when he goes out to activate a series of useful settings and the activity trackers are used to monitor all the movement and training habits of the wearer. Basically such information if it ended up in the wrong hands is a gold mine, because it contains every detail of life and for this reason it is a direct window on people's privacy.

2. Leak in security systems: when you need to be afraid

Another of the most common problems with IoT always concerns security and in particular all the flaws that are present from an IT point of view. Systems that store data can be attacked by hackers and hackers who can encrypt and steal even very personal information. In many cases, as has been shown, hackers can easily bypass security systems as many systems are not even so well protected, as shown by the Shodan search engine. This means that all you need is an IP address to find these devices and access information, security cameras and all that private information that they should remain.

3. Maintenance and life of IoT devices

The IoT device market is constantly evolving, like all other technological systems, these are returned at the speed of light. Around the world every day a startup launches a new hyper-technological model, but the problem with these devices is that, in most cases, they lack the potential for development. Some do not foresee updates, others require too much maintenance, other anchors are destined to disappear. This means investing in a product that very often ends up being dated even before it completes its life cycle. A problem that should not be underestimated both in economic terms, as a bankruptcy investment, and in maintenance costs where possible.

4. Digital fatigue: the physical and psychological problems of hyper-connection

In a digital world where everyone is connected, we need to consider the digital fatigue we hear so much about. What is that? An overexposure in the use of smartphones and technological systems of all kinds that represent a damage both on a psychological and physical level. One of the most common examples is the typical text neck posture that is assumed but it is easy to trace all the physical problems that the technology causes, passing from the waves and ending to the actual dependence that is generated towards certain systems. Man is literally tamed by IoT systems because he cannot manage without it once he has used them, he feels the need for them and easily becomes dependent. This is not to mention the physical compromise of what it means to find oneself immersed in the "waves".

5. Lack of global standards

One of the major problems with these network-related technology objects is the lack of global architecture standards. In fact, these deficits entail a concrete problem of interoperability since many systems are potentially accustomed to the IoT but in fact the components are lacking. This therefore recalls a problem also of investments, if the software grows quickly with very high peaks, the same cannot be said of the hardware that remains backward, not traveling at the same pace. Current projects aim above all at making cities smart, traffic management and smart industry solutions are interesting but there is no real synergy from a horizontal and vertical point of view so that this development can be realized in the short term on the whole planet without causing an additional global gap.

The connection of objects to the Internet simplifies life, this is what at least appears to us as a whole. Artificial intelligence is very useful in most environments, think of the smart toad capable of communicating with the car or the sensors placed on the strips or even the intelligent thermostats that set the appropriate temperature saving energy. They are a benefit and today there are just 5 billion connected objects, ready to become 25 billion by 2020. However, this will have cost, time and production processes will be optimized but the use of data and information will always be a sensitive risk . The only viable way, beyond the strictly personal aspects that could be taken away from the big houses for advertising purposes or worse still by malicious net, is an ethical use of these systems. A road that covers and maximizes the benefits in environmental, ecological and healthy terms but fully protects people's private life.