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09 July 2020

Look to Design, Not Laws, to Protect Privacy in the Surveillance Age - CoinDesk

Look to Design, Not Laws, to Protect Privacy in the Surveillance Age - CoinDesk


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Cameras, thermostats, virtual assistants and other smart devices are being installed in our homes at a blistering rate – in 2020, a new smart bulb will be installed in the world every second.

But if our devices can talk to us about the status of our homes, who else are they talking to.

With millions of Ring cameras and Echo speakers watching and listening to us 24/7 in our homes, our data and privacy are in jeopardy.

The COVID-19 pandemic has only heightened the need to ensure people can choose how their data is used.

Tech giants are the gatekeepers of our data and the more of it we give up, the more powerful their control over not just what ads we see but the “connections” we are shown, the content we’re suggested and the ways they can shift user behavior. .

By building these devices to protect our data, even if a bad actor oversteps the law, we can shift away from heavily relying on regulation as one of the few means of protecting our privacy.

The solution lies in technology’s ability to offer data sovereignty that facilitates individuals choosing what data they are willing to share with whom and for how long.

The sensitivity of data generated by our smart homes compels us to treat our physical devices differently than our digital apps.

Powering our smart homes with trusted, decentralized technologies can not only allow us to keep our data away from centralized tech giants but makes us captains of our own data destinies.

The only way to reverse this trend is to build and adopt trusted products that protect our data, identity and privacy by default, especially those we put in our homes

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