Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Caught in our own web

As a writer, I consider hacking and awkwardly timed system crashes grossly overdone as plot devices. As a netizen, I find both all too common. (For a recent discussion, see "It's a mad, mad, interconnected, discombobulated world.")

And wherever one looks, there is another (or a continuing) problem:

With all the demonstrated holes in so many key networks, how do you feel about having a networked robot in your house? They are (finally) coming: see "The Best Robots of CES 2011."

How far-fetched is it that the Bad Guys will soon try to spy on us through locomoting networked platforms in our own homes? Be very careful what apps you install in your little automated helper.


Erik said...

I try to think about privacy in terms of real risk. If someone has my personal info, I see them as being much more likely to use it to target ads at me than to kill me.

I've always hated the novel 1984 because
1: it takes all the creativity out of philosophical arguments of privacy vs security.
2: They heavily play down the human resource requirements of monitoring a large population.

So I hope that my personal details are too boring for anyone to want to steal them for purposes other than advertising or credit card fraud.

Edward M. Lerner said...

Hi Erik,

Identity theft (of which credit-card theft is only one aspect) is impersonal to the %^&$#!! who does it -- and very personal to the victim. I know people to whom it's happened, and cleaning up the mess takes months.

- Ed