News From the Internet of Things
We’ve covered the Internet of things before. It’s a vast and ever-growing non-amalgamated collection of Internet-connected devices ranging from TVs to toasters, pacemakers to refrigerators, radios, phones, computers, tablets – just about everything you can imagine is or may be part of the Internet of Things.
Most experts agree that devices on the Internet of Things, for the most part, are poorly protected and poorly secured. Many devices on the IoT can and do expose users’ private data and more. But who would have ever guessed that data from cardiac pacemaker would lead to the arrest of an Ohio man for Arson? It’s true. Will we come to a place in time where we have no expectation of privacy… at all? A time when even our most private thoughts, hopes and dreams will be available to anyone with enough money or authority and right gadgets?
Here’s a story that we found interesting. It’s from Techdirt and we want to share it with you. What do you think?
Ohio Arsonist Gets Busted By His Own Pacemaker
from the betrayed-by-my-robot-parts dept
When we talk about pacemakers here at Techdirt, the focus is usually on how the devices have paper-mache grade security, allowing anybody to assassinate the cardiac-challenged with relative ease. In fact we’ve reached the point where the FTC had to recently issue its first ever warning against a pacemaker vendor when it announced that hackers could comprmise pacemakers made by St. Jude Medical, sending “commands to the implanted device, which could result in rapid battery depletion and/or administration of inappropriate pacing or shocks.”
But your pacemaker may just betray you in other ways, too. In Ohio a man was indicted this week on arson and insurance fraud charges after his Pacemaker data contradicted the story he was telling authorities. When the man’s home burned down on September 19, Middletown resident Ross Compton told authorities he quickly packed some belongings in a suitcase and some bags, broke a window with his cane, and quickly fled through the window before carrying his belongings back to the car. The man also acknowledged at the time that he had a pacemaker.
So police obtained a warrant for the data stored on the device, and doctors quickly concluded that the story the man’s heart was telling didn’t match the narrative coming out of his mouth:
‘A cardiologist determined that it was “highly improbable,” due to his medical conditions, that Compton could do all the collecting, packing and removal of items from his house and then carry them in the short period of time he indicated, according to court records. Police have said statements they received from Compton were “inconsistent” with the evidence they gathered. They also have said that he gave statements conflicting with what he had told a dispatcher, the Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News reported.’
Obviously there are numerous privacy questions at play here, since we’re living in an era when your car, home, phone, and implant data can not only be used to support criminal charges, but will increasingly be used by giant corporations to determine everything from your insurance rates to your qualification for health care…
Our parents use to say: “What’s this world coming to?” We don’t think they ever imagined the world was coming to this.
Let us know what you think.