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Burgled? Here’s why your refrigerator could be to blame

We all generate incredible amounts of data each day, but does that put us at risk?

The Internet of Things could pose a huge danger to our privacy and security, according to a leading technology firm.

Even something as seemingly benign as a smart refrigerator has the potential to harm, says a leading expert at chip and software design giant ARM.

“Look at your home,” begins Ian Drew, chief marketing officer at ARM, speaking to TrustedReviews. “My home has about 50 IP devices in it. I bet yours has roughly the same.”

He continues: “When I put a connected fridge in there, do I trust the fridge?”

samsung fridgeA Samsung ‘smart’ connected fridge

According to Drew, the data generated by a smart fridge could be capitalised upon by tech-savvy criminals.

“If the fridge door isn’t opened in ten days, does that mean nobody’s home? If your house gets broken into because somebody hasn’t opened the fridge door in ten days, who’s responsible for that? Is it the connected fridge? Is it you?”

Drew, who also heads up ARM’s business development, says such issues will affect a whole range of so-called “smart devices”, including cars.

“You’ll have plenty more electronics in the car. Many more sensors, and far more data coming in,” he explains.

“Hand in hand with all that data are all of those end-points that have to be secure,” Drew tells us. “You can’t have your windscreen washer unsecure anymore. Everything from your windscreen washer through to your braking system requires security.”

Apple CarplayApple CarPlay dashboard technology

Cars of the future will have incredible processing power, and the data produced will be staggering – which could be a risky business for consumers.

But this isn’t only a dilemma for the future. Existing vehicles already rack up significant data about drivers, and it’s tough to determine who’s in control of that information.

“I own a car at the moment that works with a few apps. One of them is to track your car, in case your car gets broken into and is stolen,” says Drew. “My wife has the app too”.

“So I’m in the pub down the road from home, and my wife calls me and asks, ‘where are you?’. I say, ‘I’m just driving home – I’ll be there in a bit’,” he explains. “And my wife responds, ‘no you’re not – you’re in the pub!’.”

Related: Apple Car

According to Drew, this isn’t an automotive problem, but a “whole Internet of Things problem, of which automotive is only one part”.

“Where does the data from your smartwatch go? Nobody ever questions where the data from your phone goes either,” he says.

“One thing is certain: there’s no such thing as 100% secure with anything,” he adds.

Do you fear your fridge? Terrified of the toaster? Let us know in the comments.

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