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Written evidence: Connected tech: Smart or sinister? - Dr Cigdem Sengul


This written evidence by Dr Cigdem Sengul covers the subject of smart and connected technology at home. In the document, titled "Connected tech: smart or sinister?"  the author finds out that:

  • while there is a lot of publicity around smart and connected technology improving citizens’ lives at home, workplaces and in towns and cities, it is rarely found to live up to expectations. Smart devices are of limited value when there are high security and privacy risks.
  • Even when some technology is targeted to specific vulnerable groups, the key focus is on device functionality (and the help offered through it, e.g., in the case of ambient assisted living) and not necessarily on the privacy needs of the end-user.
  • Improving public understanding of benefits and risks would lead to more informed acceptance and trust, enabling to realise the potential of adding “smart” into homes.
  • A number of approaches could be used to improve the current situation ranging from age-appropriate privacy policies to more intuitive standardised privacy interfaces. However, it is also counterproductive to put all the burden on manufacturers and service providers. User training is essential and should touch all parts of society, from children to older adults.
  • Our relationship with smart and connected technology is inherently dynamic and changes as the people, context and technology change. Therefore, the policies and codes of practice must be able to respond to such change and are designed to be future-proof.

Read the full evidence here