In light of recent reports that TfL’s CIO Steve Townsend is looking to solve London congestion issues with the help of IoT sensors, Cesare Garlati, chief security strategist for the prpl Foundation has had the following to say regarding the safety and security issues that may arise:
“While it is exciting that TfL is looking to IoT sensors and the data they provide to help improve congestion for commuters, it must not overlook wider security and privacy implications this will have on the City of London. IoT, although growing at an enormous pace, is still very much in its infancy – with people eager to get their hands on the latest and greatest connected devices and manufacturers rushing to get them to market – security is often an afterthought. If we don’t take steps now to improve security within devices at the development level, the results could be catastrophic, especially when used to capture data on passengers and whole cities as suggested by TfL’s CIO, Steve Townsend. At best, people’s privacy and civil liberties are affected and at worst, poor security controls will mean terrorists will have access to a whole host of information they can use for surveillance or other nefarious purposes when security controls aren’t properly addressed.
“For this reason the prpl Foundation has provided guidance on how to create a more secure Internet of Things that advises manufacturers and developers to adopt an open source, hardware-led approach that sees security embedded from the ground up.”