These questions have been worrying researchers at the University of Cambridge Department of Computer Science and Technology. Now they are launching a year-long investigation into the ways our information is being collected and whether or not these always comply with regulations and the law.
Working in collaboration with colleagues at Imperial College London, they will probe the data that flows from the Internet of Things – the networked consumer devices, such as smart printers, doorbells and toys, that are an increasing presence in our homes.
Backed by a grant from the Information Commissioner’s Office, the UK’s data protection regulator, they will be investigating what Dr Jat Singh describes as ‘the Internet of Stings’.
Research shows that information from our devices often finds its way to a range of third parties, such as user-tracking and advertising networks that may mine it for valuable information about consumer behaviour. He’s also worried about the occasions when data is transmitted from one country to another where there may be different rules, rights and restrictions around data and its use.
So Singh and the research team want to investigate the transmission of data from our devices to find out if it is in line with relevant law – and to inform consumers about the potential of what we can do to have better control over our information.
Image: Smart speaker
Credit: Howard Bouchevereau via Unsplash
Reproduced courtesy of the University of Cambridge