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[Investigation] Connected objects, a threat to privacy?

Using connected objects can be expected to deliver numerous data. These personal data can be requested when using applications or specialized health items or sports, for example. Thereafter objects and applications also will generate more data about us, the question is where does all this data and go what about our privacy? But above all, how well protect its data?

The risks connected devices

The connected objects are often seen as an espionage shape the lives of others. These are real data books, all more personal one than the other. Indeed, as the name suggests these objects are connected which poses a real problem with the data, because it familiar you can find information on the internet and monitor the owner of the object.

The fact they are connected to a network increases the risk of piracy. In case of loss, theft or even hacking, important and personal data can be affected. If one has connected our domestic alarm or access to our house connected by a lock, the threats are so high and theft of property are particularly easy to achieve. For this, the Data Protection Act request to the connected objects manufacturers to take precautions regarding the data so that it is impossible to “distort, damage or that third parties have access.” Non-compliance of this law is punished by the Penal Code and generates serious consequences such as five years in prison and 300,000 euro fine, up to 1.5 million euros.

To reach the news, for example users of the Apple Watch will face in the dissemination of their data. Indeed, the health information that Apple shows records are sent to the Health platform from IBM. Apple posted a mass of data and would sell them to businesses, the company wishes to clear more business with our data. Apple has still meant that the data is sent anonymously but may well revive the debate because even speaking anonymously all the same personal information that we do not necessarily want the broadcast.

Some risks also come from the multitude of options that offers a connected object or application that is connected to it. It is true that as geolocation functionality allows to know the habits of the person but also where she lives. When we know that the majority of burglars monitor our habits so this leaves a door open to bad people. It makes you think!

Geolocation could also be used by the courts in the event of investigation but it was the subject of a law in 2014 to allow the use of geotagged data only for crimes punishable by at least three years of imprisonment.

All these data can be used for many individuals and can easily turn against us!

Despite these risks, there are more and more users of connected objects in the world and if one believes the polls the market should not stop growing. For it must be recognized that it is likely but handy!

The new technology and specifically connected objects are still well monitored and controlled by the CNIL.

Protecting your privacy by the CNIL

The CNIL is still on schedule to propose new rules and laws to protect users. Upon the arrival of this new technology are connected objects, the CNIL expressed on privacy and personal data. The new technology YES but not at any price! Thanks to the Data Protection Act, users of connected objects and their data are protected.

However, if the user has been advised of the release of data, protection of the law is reduced. Take the example of a connected object connected to an application: If the application asks for personal data to the user to be used (otherwise the application is unavailable) and the user does not wish to release their information so it has no choice but to abandon the use of this application. If he uses the application so he agrees to deliver its data, in the eyes of the law he is accused and if a problem occurred protection will be reduced.

The opinion of the G29 is also complemented the Data Protection Act by harmonizing rules for manufacturers, users and data, throughout Europe.

CNIL recommendations deal with data

The French Data Protection Authority has issued recommendations concerning personal data and specifically how they can be protected, with the use of connected objects.

The CNIL thus advises users:

• To use, if possible, a pseudonym to share their data.
• Not to automate data sharing to other services (particularly to social networks).
• Not to publish the data in management circles of trust.
• To erase or recover data when a service is no longer used.

This list was published on the official website of the CNIL in November 2012. The CNIL decided to associate this list of recommendations to “quantified self” that is, the tendency of the consumer who wants to know everything about himself through the collected data . The CNIL thus warns about this new practice may seem “not bad” for the user but which reveals much more information than it seems. This data is personal and some organizations may use them and do not just see this data as a way to get to know but more like a business.

A new use of personal data ?

Currently many projects are emerging to counter the idea that personal data is composed of a series of numbers and can not actually be used by the consumer. This idea is based on the fact that users complain about the dissemination of their data when they themselves can not use them. One solution comes from the web platform Exist who thinks the user by offering a concept that propels him towards a better use of personal data. This solution is interesting for the user who finally sees control its data.

Other solutions also arrive, for example, Kranenberg wants to set up a sales system by propelling eBay auction in the Internet of Things. The concept would be to offer users the ability to sell their data to large enterprises for greater equality in the use of personal data. The user would also “owns” its own data. The company is considering a solution that would suit both parties, companies and users.

The debate and the future of personal data so have not finished making noise!

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