Available this fall is a connected hairbrush that comes with a built-in microphone.
As reported by WIRED, as soon as someone brushes their hair, the hairbrush collects data.
The inbuilt microphone is said to listen to the sound of the brushing and identifies patterns in the movement. The microphone detects "manageability, frizziness, dryness, split ends and breakage".
Naturally, the brush has WLAN and an app that transmits the data.
To me, these items are not just funny gadgets but also potential privacy- and security risks. Do you know what your brush records, how secure they store your data, for how long, etc?
After the last major Apple Update, I thought my iPad and Phone broke (something drained the battery) until Apple sent me a message they accidentally activated "backup" on all of my Apple devices.
GIGS of data from my Apple devices (I feel stupid admitting I have four as I feel writing this article with an apple watch on is on the verge of being hypocritical) were sent over the air by mistake.
I have more faith in Apple's knowledge of IT security than in the IT security knowledge of companies specialized in shampoo and conditioner. Or freezers.
In the best case, you convey unpaid market research. In the worst case?
Wannacry is the name of ransomware that recently attacked computers of people and companies who did not update their operating systems. Experts consider "wannacry" a "warning". Obviously, it had an emergency switch and could quickly and easily be stopped.
The worm encrypted the data of the infected machine and displayed a message with instructions on how much bitcoin you have to pay to get your machine back. Some hospitals were affected too.
Having to pay ransom or loosing data is one thing. How about electricity? No air-conditioning in the middle of a heatwave?
And do you remember last October? When hackers launched an attack through the IoT? Millions of internet-connected household devices like printers, cameras were hijacked.A single printer has limited computing capacity, But 1000 or 10 Million?
Target of the attack was a DNS-service company called DYN, but as major corporations use the service, even sites like Reddit, Twitter and Spotify had been down.
And even if you do not own internet-connected devices: In November of 2016 over 900,000 households were cut off from the internet (including telephony and tv) after Telekom became target of a hacker and routers could not identify themselves to create a connection.
Two recent court cases are interesting. They show that also the government might be interested in data gathered by smart gadgets.