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Personal Privacy Assistants in the Age of the Internet of Things

Imagine your pri­va­cy assis­tant is a com­put­er pro­gram that’s run­ning on your smart­phone or your smart­watch. Your pri­va­cy assis­tant lis­tens for pri­va­cy poli­cies that are being broad­cast over a dig­i­tal stream. We are build­ing stan­dard for­mats for these pri­va­cy poli­cies so that all sen­sors will speak the same lan­guage that your per­son­al pri­va­cy assis­tant will be able to under­stand.

The Internet of Damned Things

We have to be aware that when you cre­ate mag­ic or occult things, when they go wrong they become hor­ror. Because we cre­ate tech­nolo­gies to soothe our cul­tur­al and social anx­i­eties, in a way. We cre­ate these things because we’re wor­ried about secu­ri­ty, we’re wor­ried about cli­mate change, we’re wor­ried about threat of ter­ror­ism. Whatever it is. And these devices pro­vide a kind of stop­gap for help­ing us feel safe or pro­tect­ed or what­ev­er.