A recent article in TechWorld warns that a Maoist style future, where one’s devices spy on us and report back to the powers that be, may not be that far out. Without proper privacy controls in place, the article warns that the future may not be very private at all. Jason Hope agrees that this is a real concern and is a reason why he advocates for strong privacy laws surrounding the Internet of Things as it grows.

In the June 10 article entitled “Internet of Things could lead to ‘Maoist style state,’ warns BCS president,” Charlotte Jee of @TechworldNews quotes Jos Creese, president of BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT. Creese claims that while people have always worried about their neighbors telling on them, they may now need to also worry about these devices.

“Could we be moving to a Maoist style state, but where instead of your neighbours reporting on you, it would be your devices?” Creese said. With this amount of data, he warns, that governments could start to punish citizens for small acts such as driving just one mile per hour over the speed limit which is easily picked up by modern sensors.

This goes beyond simply having a fridge that tells us when one is out of milk or a washing machine that tells us it’s time to wash whites. Even those actions have dangers, according to Creese, because they take away ones ability to think and act independently.

Creese warns, “Amid all of the enthusiasm about the Internet of Things, we should bear in the risks of civil liberty and freedom in mind.”

“These warnings are worth heeding,” says Jason Hope. “While we don’t need to be crazy and worry about some huge government conspiracy, we do need to ensure that legal protections are in place now to protect our privacy, not just now but also in the future. That is why it’s important to work with legislators to ensure that privacy is protected as the Internet of Things grows.”

Of course, privacy will always be possible. Creese envisions a future where the rich will be able to buy their privacy, and those with less money will struggle to keep their data secure.

“This is an issue that affects all of us,” warns Hope. “We can’t bury our head in the sand. The Internet of Things is here to stay, and we must take measures to ensure we are protected.”

About Jason Hope

Jason Hope is an Arizona native who watches the development of technology with great interest, using his resources as an entrepreneur to support changes that will better humanity. To learn more about the work he supports and his current research projects, visit http://www.jasonhope.com.