In the past years privacy issues had become less important. Most users with a computer may not care of them being recorded 24 hours a day by the tiny and insignificant web camera on top of their screens. It is very naive to think that gadgets as such are not dangerous. And it is not only about privacy – being naked or not in front of your computer, it is also a matter of money. Imagine that a company has access to all the data generated by your web camera. Imagine that they could sell to another company that may want research on eye tracking. This situation is hypothetical, but unfortunately not far away from what we can encounter in the following years with the upcoming trend of intelligent objects.

A group of researchers from the Universita’ Cattolica de Millan,  in collaboration with the European Committee are bringing up this challenge and defining the different aspects that users must be aware of to be free of switching off the control from big corporations. Specially this reality is valuable to those producing and designing the objects of tomorrow. For that matter they are introducing the concept of Ethical Design, which aims to educate and engage everybody in this matter so that the challenges of surveillance and money making out of user´s data is controlled.

In their past publication they not only introduced the term but also bring up their latest research in terms of tools that users will be able to use to cope with this war against selling user’s privacy in the market. The tool, Seckit helps users interact with intelligent objects. Nevertheless a tool is not enough, strong laws should be created and demanded. And users must start worrying or positively engaging with this matter before their data is being sold without their consent.

For more information regarding the project, images or diagrams explaining the tool and the details of the findings by the research please contact by email, from IT University.

Sources: Ethical Design in the Internet of Things, Baldini et al, European Commission, GNKS Consult


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