Can We Trust the Internet of Things to Protect Us?

Trust Internet of Things

Within the next decade the internet could connect as many as 200 billion things—and not just machines such as cars or household appliances, but anything that you can fit a chip or sensor into—including humans. These devices, collectively known as the Internet of Things, should make life simpler, even healthier, but can we trust them to look after us?

It’s 6 am on Monday 1 October 2025. The device on your wrist has sensed that you’re waking up so it sends a message to your coffee machine to start brewing. You delay the coffee and go for a run instead. While you’re pounding the pavement, the sensors in your earphones detect an irregular heartbeat. The device sends an ECG readout to a cardiologist. He sees that the arrhythmias are just harmless ectopic beats and decides to take no further action.

Back home, you have your well-earned coffee and put the empty cup in the dishwasher. The dishwasher is full, so it starts running. A sensor detects that the appliance is due for a service. It makes the appointment with an engineer and books a date in your diary, which you later confirm. A couple of decades ago, dishwashers were one of the biggest causes of house-fires, but not anymore. The internet of things (IoT)—devices connected to each other over the internet—has made the world infinitely safer. From self-driving cars to smart pills that measure our health from the inside, the internet in 2025 has become a custodian of our health and safety. But have we been wise to give the reigns of responsibility—that we once took hold of ourselves for things like driving or administering medicine—to a device?

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If you want to go further on the topic of the IoT, you can read “What’s next in the Internet of Things?.