Internet-300x300On Tuesday, Nov. 24, the McGill Intellectual Property & Information Technology Policy Club (IPITPOL) hosted a panel to discuss aspects of privacy and governance concerning the internet of things. The Internet of Things is a term referring to a continuously expanding network of physical devices with network connectivity, and the ability to collect and transmit this data through an integrated network widely known as ‘the cloud.’

The panel featured Sunny Handa, a professor at McGill’s Faculty of Law and co-head of the Information Technology Group and India’s Working Group at Blake, Cassels, and Graydon LLP. Richard Janda, a professor at McGill’s Faculty of Law, and Fenwick McKelvey an assistant professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Concordia University, were also members of the panel.

During the discussion, Handa drew attention to the accessibility of information. A data breach in the cloud can provide companies with consumer information, which enables companies to draw pre-concluded notions about a consumer’s health and persona and can affect things such as life insurance and career opportunities.

“The internet of things is really about big data collection,” said Handa. “Some of you may have this little device [… and] it’s monitoring your heart rate, it’s monitoring your steps, it’s monitoring everything, and […] it gets uploaded into a facility in the cloud that may not be [secure], and if it’s not, then that data goes wherever it shouldn’t go. Then, decisions can be made.”

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