An IoT Primer from a Father of the Internet
Vinton Cerf offers some words of caution and optimism.
The long view on data security:
"Personal computers were not meant to be interconnected," Cerf said. Plus, malware was born well before the Internet. Back then, he noted, malware was propagated when diskettes carrying infected code would be shared between one computer user and another. Much of this malware simply created silly results, like a special effect on a video game that made the screen look like it was melting.
It is impossible, of course, for designers of today's computing devices to consider every potential actuality or pitfall, or to safeguard against technologies that do not yet even exist. But the evolution of personal computing and early data infections holds cautionary tales for how important it is to think about, and then test, a system's vulnerabilities before—not after—deploying it.
Another example of how continuous monitoring could be used in health care, Cerf said, is a current Google project in which the company is developing a contact lens with an integrated glucose monitor, to track the amount of glucose in a user's tears. "You can get the same information from tears as you'd get by taking a blood sample, but you'd get it continuously," he said, noting that this could greatly help diabetics micromanage their sugar levels—without needles.
Cerf quickly added, however, that he's not starting a run for office.
It would probably be hard to give up that sweet gig at Google, after all.
Mary Catherine O'Connor is the editor of Internet of Things Journal and a former staff reporter for RFID Journal. She also writes about technology, as it relates to business and the environment, for a range of consumer magazines and newspapers.
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