We were just having a conversation about the information our Sonos is sending back and forth. It's one of a handful of devices we've willfully purchased and plugged into our home network. In today's environment, we are becoming hyper aware of what our applications and devices know about us and are communicating outside of our network and local storage.
With two people in a small home/office environment, we have four iPhones, two iPads, three laptops, one desktop, a printer, two Sonos speakers, one time capsule, and one smart TV connected all the time. We also have three video cameras and three drones that can connect to the network and/or broadcast a network, but isn't necessarily always on. We aren't huge home IoT people, but that seems like a significant number of devices for a single network and quite a lot to think about when it comes to managing our digital bits.
Our house is infested with IoTs. OK, it's mostly because of my drone and camera obsession, but the printer, Sonos, and other devices are definitely a little more on the normal side of things. When you stop to think about all this IoT think stuff for a bit, it's pretty crazy what have let into our world. These little devices that run on our home network, do things for us, regularly talking back to their masters in the cloud. What do they say about us? What information do they keep track of?
I fully understand my obsession with our data at this level is considerably greater than the average person, but I am astounded at people's inability to stop corporations (and government) from infiltrating our homes in this way. I'm not immune. I have the usual suspects when it comes to home devices, as well as some more specialized IoT devices on my network. I am tuning into which devices I have, and what data they are sending to the cloud because I'm concerned with capturing the data exhaust from my world and making a living, but secondarily I am increasingly concerned about privacy, security, and other more concerning activity from these devices I've invited into my home, and the companies who operate them.
My smart TV tracks my viewing habits, my Sono tracks my listening habits, and my laptop, tablet, and mobile device track the rest. Some of these devices are fixed in my home, while other more portable devices travel with me, and then come back home to get plugged in, recharged, and synced with the cloud. I'm using my drones and video cameras to gather data, images, and audio from the world around me, and bringing them back to my home for filtering and organization locally and in the cloud. My house isn't just infested with IoT devices, it's infested with the data and other bits generated by these IoT devices. These are valuable little bits and they are something companies are scrambling to get their hands on.
I'm on a quest to make sure I get a piece of the action when it comes to selling my bits — the bigger piece of the pie, the better. I'm also looking to help drive the conversation around what the technology companies are doing with our bits. I do not expect to win this war, I'm just looking to push back wherever and whenever I can, and establish a greater understanding around what data is being generated and tracked, both inside and outside of my home. The more I'm in tune with this activity, the more I can develop and evolve the tactics I will need to keep resisting and stay ahead of the curve.