It’s here. The smart home toilet that can be connected to a smart home hub. Finally! Now I can control my toilet in San Francisco from a hotel room in Shanghai. Can you believe how often I said to myself: “If I could just flush my toilet right now! From 8,000 miles away” Haven’t you had that urge? If not, what’s wrong with you?
All kidding aside, the Internet of Things (IoT) will have plenty of useful applications. From the connected pressure valve that can be monitored 24/7 to, yes, home applications that make your home safer and more efficient. It’s coming, and it’s here to stay. And in the right hands, it’s all good.
But the IoT comes with huge risks that apparently no one seems to care about. Sure, the companies producing these products want us to believe that their products can’t be hacked. Like Target didn’t get hacked. Or Michaels. Or Neiman Marcus. Last week P.F. Chang’s. Remember Heart Bleed? Amazing how quickly we all seem to forget.
One problem are politicians. They are at least 20 years behind the technology curve. Why aren’t smart chips in credit cards mandatory yet? Everybody knows that these chips make credit cards a lot safer. Europe has them. Why is the US so far behind? Ask DC.
But I am afraid when it comes to the IoT, it will be even worse. Don’t get me wrong, I am a proponent of free market enterprise. Politicians need to stay out of business as much as possible. Their role is to create an environment that allows for free markets to prosper. But when it comes to safety I am afraid self-regulation doesn’t seem to work. It didn’t work for credit cards, it’s not working for customer data, and it is not going to work for the IoT. The problem is, making the web a safer place adds to the cost of it, and that just doesn’t win votes.
Still, I don’t want @ihackyourtoiletandflushit to hack into my home system and flush my toilet while I am on it. Just not much into that. Until we have some politicians step up to the plate, maybe you want to wait with buying that high tech throne.