(Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

Everyday objects — watches, refrigerators and thermostats to name a few — are becoming increasingly connected to each other and to us. The promise of “the Internet of things” is that we will be more efficient, healthier and ultimately happier. But so far consumers are not convinced. Recent research by data privacy company Truste found that a mere 22 percent of consumers believe the benefits of smart devices outweigh the risks. What are your hopes and concerns about these objects of the future?

Guests:
Kevin Trilli, vice president of product management for TRUSTe
David Rose, MIT Media Lab scientist and author of "Enchanted Objects: Design, Human Desire and the Internet of Things"
Michelle Dennedy, vice president and chief privacy officer at McAfee and author of "The Privacy Engineer's Manifesto"
Jeff Chester, executive director of The Center for Digital Democracy

  • Fay Nissenbaum

    If you think you need an app to make a shopping list, you likely need a therapist. It offends me when shoppers in trader joes or safeway are looking at smartphones clogging the aisles with their heads bend down. People who so self-involved think the world revolves around them. What have we come to?

    • darqmyth

      Thank you. It is nice to know I’m not alone.

    • Ridly Lee

      People shouldn’t clog aisles. They should move to a side, regardless of if they are looking at a list or an item.

      But, working parents have enough in their heads, and having no list often means it’s more stress to keep it all in their heads. Lists are a proven stress reduction technique. Apps or paper, doesn’t matter. If you don’t like them, fine, but if you think nobody else should use lists, then who’s thinking the world revolves around them?

      • Fay Nissenbaum

        Dont get me going on this one! Glancing at a list while food shopping isnt the issue. The idiots are those who text and talk, especially those who do so while pulling their shopping carts behind them. The carts are made to be pushed. When you pull them they bang into things, especially corners. “Smart wheels in front” is an old stagehand mantra. Push the shopping cart and shop. If the store is empty, you can be as addicted to your phone as you want… Next time you go to trader joes, take a look around and see how someone ducking their head down into their phone while they are half-connected to their cart blocks other people. Dawdlers hanging their carts out there while moving like slithering slugs are the self-involved twits I am writing about. /end rant

      • Robert Thomas

        Are you arguing that these people should be sterilized, to reduce the chance that their stress may inconvenience me?

        People have always been distracted by having occasionally to look at their shopping lists in the grocery store.

        Now, they’re texting and playing Candy Crush while shopping. Everyone has had the experience I had the other day, standing in the checkout line at Lucky. A person being served was staring at a smartphone, completely oblivious to others, while the checker slowly ramped up her attempt to bring the patron back to Lucky checkout line spacetime. Patron was finally alerted, betraying startled aspect.

        No one’s perfect. My mom taught me to always ask myself how often I have the same failing I note in others (Matthew 7:3-5; the most important verses in the New Testament). But this sort of behavior is something to which we willingly choose to descend. It has served to allow me to more sharply delineate and categorize myself and others. In this regard, I’m happy to report I categorize myself pretty favorably; others, less well.

  • Trace Wendell

    How will smart chips embedded in consumer product packaging affect their ability to be recycled or composted? Will these products have to be thrown in the garbage to wind up in a landfill? Will stores be required to take this packaging back and recycle it? If not, I would resist using those products. The environment will always take precedence over convenience for me.

    • Robert Thomas

      Just about any activity you can undertake in your life, from moment to moment, including eating anything, drinking anything, taking a step, moving a limb or breathing is less likely negatively impact your environment.

      This isn’t a reason not to resist using products that incorporate such devices.

  • Using my phone to hold my phone list saves paper and if I didn’t, my head would be looking at my paper list, which people have likely been doing since stores and markets have existed…just saying…

    • Fay Nissenbaum

      Dont get me going on this one! Glancing at a list while food shopping isnt the issue. The idiots are those who text and talk, especially those who do so while pulling their shopping carts behind them. The carts are made to be pushed. When you pull them they bang into things, especially corners. “Smart wheels in front” is an old stagehand mantra. Push the shopping cart and shop. If the store is empty, you can be as addicted to your phone as you want… Next time you go to trader joes, take a look around and see how someone ducking their head down into their phone while they are half-connected to their cart blocks other people. Dawdlers hanging their carts out there while moving like slithering slugs are the self-involved twits I am writing about. /end rant

  • Ridly Lee

    It’s nice to hear people talking about privacy. However, with millions of app developers, and the lies that our own government spy agencies tell, it’d be naive to ever think that an app/device would not have it’s data leaked. We truly can’t trust these apps or devices, period.

  • Fay Nissenbaum

    I do not use my real name for those supermarket discount cards. There is no reason to – you can make up an easy to remember phone number. And no consumer should sign their true signature when using touchpads for credit cards. Better to scrawl a couple of lines or draw a smiley face because a real signature is reproducible endlessly and is as legal as a genuine ink signature. The reason that’s dangerous is that the companies that handle those signatures can be bought, sold, and can unilaterally change the intended use of the data.

  • Chemist150

    I just had the image of all my appliances wrapped in aluminum foil.

  • Fay Nissenbaum

    Snowden revealed that if “it’s got a plug, it’s got a bug”. Should we have electric meters connected to a grid? It baffles me that PG&E was allowed to install tens of thousands of those smart meters that now make the energy grid hackable. It’s a lot cheaper and easier to cripple a nation by shutting down their power than it is to make and deliver a real bomb. Any comments about smart meters? The cloud is a false promise of progress.

  • ZA_SF

    Ethics, surveillance, privacy are all critical issues, but the lack of any citizen initiative to actually get a Constitutional right to privacy amendment suggests that Americans value convenience most. Even Snowden’s revelations have sparked little material action where it would have the widest public value.

  • Ben Rawner

    The Internet of things is a new power, and like all power it is both positive and negative. Having to not have to remember to feed my cat, where I left my keys, or when its goin to rain is great. If u are a good person what do I have to worry about. These companies can read my email or know that I am out of milk, but that doesn’t mean they can get me to do anything I don’t want to do. My only worry is that maybe my connected umbrella will broadcast an annoying commercial while I’m using it.

  • bkdnapa

    Worried about privacy? Me too; check this out, we can do at least this ourselves for starters: Max Keiser interviews Arjen Kamphuis about his new and free digital manual “The Infosecurity Handbook For Journalists” and about driving the cost of NSA spying from the current 0.08 cents per person per day to $10,000 per person per day – thus driving them out of business. http://rt.com/shows/keiser-report/170908-episode-max-keiser-624/

  • Connie

    Give the internet of things to the 1% and see how much they want their life info published

  • Quintin

    The problem is that Intel has already employed a chip that phones home.

  • Fay Nissenbaum

    Since so much of this show referred to surveillance, anyone listening with an interest should check out the May Vanity Fair about snowden’s revelations. The full article is here:

    http://www.vanityfair.com/online/daily/2014/04/edward-snowden-interview

  • marte48

    Too bad we can’t get the Internet of Things 2.0 to go out to the Pacific gyre and remove the Internet of Things 1.0.

    • Robert Thomas

      I guess you mean “…Things 1.0” rather than “…the Internet of Things 1.0”

  • Shilough

    What about the huge energy costs of exponentially increasing the amount of data being stored? Has anyone thought through the environmental implications of all of this?

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