So much data, so little security -- what happens if your city gets hacked?
Microsoft's Craig Mundie offer security suggestions to MIT Emtech conference; other experts tout smart cities technology.
Businesses and individuals had better brace themselves for new security realities as society moves away from traditional data sharing equations that have worked well for a couple of decades.
To date, users have agreed to give away certain discrete pieces of information -- such as a name or email addresses -- in exchange for something -- a product or a service, for instance. That situation is no longer viable, Craig Mundie, senior advisor to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, told told attendees at the Emtech conference held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) here today.
Mundie said that today, significant amounts of data are collected, much of it without the user's knowledge, and is used in ways not always clear at the time of collection.
For instance, a mobile phone app may ask for permission to use your location data, but it isn't always apparent or disclosed how that data will be used downstream. Your answer to such a request may depend on whether the data will be posted to Facebook or used to guide you via GPS to a meeting. So a straight yes or no answer may not be enough, and you need to be able to control this, Mundie said.
"We're talking about the legal acquisition of data," Mundie said. "We need a usage-based way of controlling it, with a cryptographic wrapper and then policies and laws that govern usage."