The internet of things, a name for the invisible network which allows ‘smart’ objects to talk to each other using the internet and RFID technology, is starting to play an ever increasing important role in our everyday lives. According to there are currently around 9 billion connected devices in existence. The global mobile industry trade group GSMA predicts that in 2020 there will be around 24 billion devices equipped for network connectivity. Michael Nelson, the former director of Internet Technology at IBM even expects that within the next 5-10 years around 100 billion devices are connected to the internet.

Most of these devices will be smartphones or consumer electronics of another kind. A few examples of other peripheral smart devices include Karotz, a wifi-enabled plastic desktop rabbit which reads out your email for you and TheLittle Printer, a miniature desktop receipt printer which prints your email, messages and the weather forecast, etc. on conveniently sized strips of paper. Products like Karotz, and The Little Printer are entering our homes and seamlessly integrate with our everyday lifestyle. One thing these two devices have in common is that they require internet connectivity. Their sole purpose is to aggregate information; their functionalitynecessitates a constant stream of live data.

This paper examines what data means for the internet of things and in which ways it might be considered both a curse and a blessing.

Data, a double-edged sword

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