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Australians clueless about privacy guidelines for IoT devices

Luana PASCU

October 03, 2016

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Australians clueless about privacy guidelines for IoT devices

Australians are psyched about their connected devices so the government implemented some IoT guidelines for smart cities, initially deployed in the UK. It”s always great to see countries working on improving infrastructure security, but according to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) some 71 percent of IoT devices and services used in Australia failed to properly highlight privacy procedures regarding big data.

Surveys conducted in April by the OAIC revealed 27 percent of the 314 devices and businesses investigated were not transparent with customers about which data they were collecting and how it would be used. More than 80 percent had obtained a name or an email.

“The Internet of Things allows for some great products and entertainment, but many of us have adopted this technology into our everyday lives without considering how much of our personal information is being captured or what happens to that information,” said Australian Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim. “For an Internet of Things device to work for you it needs to know about you, so you should know what information is being collected and where it is going.”

It seems Australians are clueless about how their data is collected and used so, naturally, they are at risk. Is private information shared with third parties? Probably at this very moment some company is sending out collected usernames, addresses, phone numbers and browsing histories of their users.

With expected IoT growth of 30 percent by the end of 2016 and “as many as 5.5 million new things to become connected every day,” a security strategy, patch management and privacy protection laws are extremely important to build consumer trust.

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