IoTeX’s Raullen Chai on Privacy in the Internet of ThingsAug 9, 2021
In the future, "everything will become part of the Internet of Things (IoT)" said Raullen Chai, co-founder and CEO of IoTeX, a decentralized network that supports IoT technology. He was speaking to Orchid's Derek Silva on this week's episode of the Priv8 Podcast.
When that happens, "everything will have an Internet connection."
However, some pressing challenges are standing in the way of secure IoT development. For example, "we will probably have 10 billion people in 2030, and 100 billion devices," Raullen continued -- an average of 10 devices per person. Currently, however, "98 percent of device data is actually controlled by [a handful of] centralized entities -- a monopoly, to be sure."
As IoT devices become a bigger part of our daily lives, the amount of data that they can extract becomes exponentially larger. As a result, the IoT monopoly has severe implications for privacy. "[These entities] own everything and know everything about us," Raullen said, adding that they can use personal information in whatever way they please. "I believe that they will not do evil things, but it's hard to say," he cautioned.
Privacy isn't the only thing at stake: the centralization of IoT leads to a lack of both innovation and interoperability.
"Because [a small number of companies] own everything, all of the builders and creators -- people with great ideas and talents -- don't have much presence in the current state of IoT," Raullen said. "We are in a period of innovation stagnation. Although we have better cars and better phones, [not much has changed] since ten years ago."
Centralization also leads to fragmentation. "Basically, one company owns the vast majority of phones that people use in the world; a second company owns the most popular kind of car. More companies separately operate smart keys, smart cameras, and much more. But there is no way to connect them in a frictionless system, which makes integration onto a digital chain of value almost impossible."
"As [IoT] technology evolves, I think we should reconsider this [centralized] paradigm," Raullen said. "We have blockchain, crypto, and lots of other new technologies right now. So this paradigm can be shifted in a way that allows people the same level of functionality and convenience on applications, and also allows them to fully own their devices and data."
Check out Derek's entire conversation with Raullen. And don't forget to subscribe to Priv8 Podcast on your favorite streaming service.