Review of Internet of Things: Privacy Policies & Terms of Service

Over the past few months I’ve been working with my research team at UWO to compile and analyze Privacy Policies and Terms of Service (ToS) agreements from selected consumer products associated with the Internet of Things (IoT).

These new digital products and services include “smart” kitchen appliances, home heating and lighting systems, monitoring devices, children’s toys, and a broad assortment of “wearable” personal health devices. These products promise to bring the benefits of real time network connectivity to a range of everyday activities, resulting in such benefits as reduced costs, increased energy efficiency, better personal safety, improved health monitoring and a variety of other claimed benefits.

At the same time, the ability of powerful information systems to collect, store, evaluate, transmit and reuse vast amounts of data linked to the personal activities of individuals has very serious implications for security and privacy.   And as the amount of personal information that is being collected, stored, combined and analyzed continues to grow, new questions are arising about the adequacy of our current privacy laws.

Over the next few weeks I will be presenting profiles about the Privacy Policies and ToS agreements of popular IoT devices.

Please send me a note if there is a particular product you would like to see added to the discussion!

This research project was supported by a grant from the Foundation for Legal Research with additional support from the Western Law Faculty at the University of Western Ontario.

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