Internet-connected devices like smart thermostats, voice-activated assistants, and web-enabled refrigerators have become ubiquitous in American homes. These technologies are part of the Internet of Things (IoT), which has flourished in recent years as consumers and businesses flock to smart devices for convenience, efficiency, and, in many cases, fun.
Internet of Bodies technologies fall under the broader IoT umbrella. But as the name suggests, IoB devices introduce an even more intimate interplay between humans and gadgets. IoB devices monitor the human body, collect health metrics and other personal information, and transmit those data over the internet. Many devices, such as fitness trackers, are already in use.
Torrents of data on everything from diets to social interactions could help improve preventative health care, increase employee productivity, and encourage people to become active participants in their health.
Artificial pancreases could automate insulin dosing for diabetics. Brain-computer interfaces could allow amputees to control prosthetic limbs with their minds. And smart diapers could alert parents via Bluetooth app when their baby needs to be changed.
But despite its potential to revolutionize just about everything in ways that could be helpful, the Internet of Bodies could jeopardize our most intimate personal information.
“There are vast amounts of data being collected, and the regulations about that data are really murky,” Lee said. “There’s not a lot of clarity about who owns the data, how it’s being used, and even who it can be sold to.”
Lee and her colleagues examined the risks that IoB devices could pose across three areas: data privacy, cybersecurity, and ethics. The team also identified recommendations that could help policymakers balance the IoB’s many risks and rewards.
You can find this article at https://www.rand.org/blog/articles/2020/10/the-internet-of-bodies-will-change-everything-for-better-or-worse.html