From the Executive Summary of this new report from the Internet of Things Privacy Forum:
The IoT will expand the data collection practices of the online world to the offline world.
— The IoT will enable and normalize preference and behavior tracking in the offline world. This is a significant qualitative shift, and a key reason to evaluate these technologies for their social impact and effect on historical methods of privacy preservation. The very notion of an offline world may begin to decline.
The IoT portends a diminishment of private spaces.
— The scale and proximity of sensors being introduced will make it harder to find reserve and solitude. The IoT will make it easier to identify people in public and private spaces.
The IoT will encroach upon emotional and bodily privacy.
— The proximity of IoT technologies will allow third parties to collect our emotional states over long periods of time. Our emotional and inner life will become more transparent to data collecting organizations.
Given the likelihood of ubiquitous data collection throughout the human environment, the notion of privacy invasion may decompose; more so as people’s expectation of being monitored increases.
— Much of consumer IoT is predicated on inviting these devices into our lives. The ability to know who is observing us in our private spaces may cease to exist. The IoT will hasten the disintegration of the ‘reasonable expectation of privacy’ standard as people become more generally aware of smart devices in their environments.
When IoT devices fade into the background or look like familiar things, we can be duped by them, and lulled into revealing more information than we might otherwise. Connected devices are designed to be unobtrusive, so people can forget that there are monitoring devices in their environment.