Conferences are good places to learn what’s happening in the industry, to hear new ideas (and reflect on what their impact on you is) and to extend your professional network. Today I will share insights from an IoT (Internet of Things) conference that I have visited.
China Ranks Citizens With A ‘Social Credit’ System
A ranking system that monitors the behaviour of the Chinese people, ranks them based on their “social credit”. Have a look at this video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Onm6Sb3Pb2Y. It shows how cameras and facial recognition software identify people on the streets, and assign scores to them, for examples when they cross the street in red light. If you knew that surveillance cameras exist and that facial recognition is available but you didn’t think it was so pervasive… wake up, or go to China. A representative of the Dutch Police, on the other hand, explained how the Police is careful in storing data to avoid any future usage of the data in a way that was not intended and that may not be desired.
Smart Cities IoT
The surveillance-based Chinese ‘Social Credit’ system may remind you of a “Big Brother” scenario. But IoT is being deployed for a variety of other use cases. Specifically, in the context of Smart Cities (i.e. local Government implementing solutions for intelligently serving citizens):
- 24,6% of Smart Cities initiatives concern Smart Governance and Smart Education
- 15,8% of Smart Cities initiatives concern Smart Energy
- 14,6% of Smart Cities initiatives concern Smart Healthcare
- 13,5% of Smart Cities initiatives concern Smart Security
- 13,1% of Smart Cities initiatives concern Smart Infrastructure
- 9,7% of Smart Cities initiatives concern Smart Building
- 8,7% of Smart Cities initiatives concern Smart Mobility
Much More Is Happening
Discussions included other exciting topics, including:
- TomTom’s future vision of where mobility is autonomous, shared and electric.
- The Port of Rotterdam prepares for autonomous shipping. Imagine a future when cargo ships do not need a crew
- IRMA (I Reveal My Attributes) is a platform (with a mobile App) of the Dutch Privacy By Design Foundation which allows you to share with third parties only those attributes of your identity which truly need to be shared. Imagine you go somewhere when they ask to see your ID because they need to verify your age. You show them your driving license, thereby revealing much more personal information than is actually necessary for this transaction. IRMA will only share those attributes that are necessary. Do you have a mobile phone and with the IRMA App? You’re good to go! IRMA is a good example for tackling privacy issues in IoT. Namely, with every connected device there is also a potential for hacking, and therefore trust frameworks become even more important than they have been in the past. IRMA is part of a Dutch effort to create such a trust framework.
The Future Is Here
Technology is advanced, and it progresses faster than humans change, definitely faster than legislation changes. If you think that now we have many sensors, give it a few more years… IoT will be so much more pervasive. I am confident about that.