No, this is not a blog about mental health issues. But fair warning, the creepy nature of what we are about to discuss here could cause you distress.
Here are 10 real life scenarios:
These are not just examples of how data about you CAN be used but this is the reality of how data about HAS been used! So, why does this happen? Companies promised us that they anonymize our data when they sell it to third parties. Well, the reality is that there are over 1500 demographic data points about each one of us that are sold and traded on data exchanges by data brokers and other entities such as social media players, ad networks, etc. Research has proven that with 15 demographic data points, 99.98% of Americans can be individually identified! So, there goes all our anonymity - and we thought we were smart about using ‘Incognito Mode’ on our browsers! Every device, app and service leaks a few data points and these are aggregated and sold and cross-referenced.
Roger Clarke coined the phrase ‘Dataveillance’ back in 1988 (would have been more apt if he had done it in 1984) and called out the consequences of systematic monitoring of people’s actions or communications through the application of information technology. A prime consequence of this is what marketers look to exploit in each and every one of us multiple times a day – our Prime Vulnerability Moments. These are moments when you are most susceptible to certain decisions and ones at which companies try to reach you and/or exploit you. The consequences of discrimination and exclusion are not hard to see from this point on.
I write this today because I strongly feel that we cannot have a conversation about security in the connected home without a strong focus on privacy. Companies collect our data thousands of times a day, buy our data from various sources, sell them to aggregators and data brokers. We have no clear idea of who has access to our data and what they do to protect it. We do know that thousands of companies get breached every year and we have gotten desensitized to these breach notifications. My intent is to re-awaken these sensitivities in all of us – the impact to our wallets and lives is real and when these companies lose this data to hackers, it can even be dangerous.
Project Kavalan from Nandi Security – code name for our soon-to-be-launched product - is now in user trials. Project Kavalan is built to both secure our connected homes and reduce our data footprint. If you would like to be a part of the trial, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org – you will get 6 months free subscription to our product when it launches as a thanks for your willingness to participate in the trials.