Wolf Richter's dental insurer sent his family a free "smart" toothbrush that records how often and how well you brush, using a set of proprietary consumables to clean your teeth.
Richter discovered that not only did his toothbrush rat on him, his insurer was paying attention: when he failed to unbox and start to use his toothbrush, the insurer started unsubtly prodding him to start. The fine-print for the toothbrush and its app is your basic shitty you-agree-to-let-us-spy-on-everthing-and-sell-it Internet of Shit EULA.
Richter can see where this is going; just as it's becoming harder to get auto insurance without putting a spy-box in your car, we're headed for a future where you won't be able to get dental insurance without submitting to close oral surveillance.
What’s next? The day when we cannot get dental insurance without Internet-connected toothbrush.
There are many people who think nothing of it. They laugh at us. For them, we’re fossils that just cannot grasp the modern world where private life takes place on the Internet and is stored forever in the cloud. Formerly innocuous devices like toothbrushes, dolls, TVs, thermostats, fridges, mattresses, or toilet-paper dispensers, that are everywhere around the house, will see to it that more and more personal and even intimate data gets uploaded to the cloud as the Internet of Things invades not only our home but our body cavities.
For now, our household is still able to at least partially block this intrusion. But there will be a day when we will be forced to surrender our data to get health insurance, drive a car, or have a refrigerator and a thermostat in the house. This is where this is going. Why? Because data is where the money is. And because many consumers are embracing it.
Our Dental Insurance Sent us “Free” Internet-Connected Toothbrushes. And this is What Happened Next [Wolf Richter/Wolfstreet]
(via Charlie Stross)
Johns Hopkins Computer Science prof Professor Peter Fröhlich grades his students on a curve: the highest score on the final gets an A and everyone else is graded accordingly.
How about a whole album full of 11 excellent songs you’ve never heard before, which Joni wrote between 1964 and 1969 but never got around to recording.....sung by an excellent singer....with expert tasteful backup....including the first song she ever wrote, “Hunter,” which until now had appeared on a handful of early unreleased test-pressings of BLUE? Songs so good, they all sound like just-discovered outtakes from SONG TO A SEAGULL—which is basically what they are? How ‘bout, all this for only a sawbuck, US? (or $13 for a physical CD)
IoT Inspector is a new tool from Princeton's computer science department; it snoops on the traffic from home IoT devices and performs analysis to determine who they phone home to, whether they use encryption, and what kinds of data they may be leaking.
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