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Privacy Battle Erupts Over Smart Building Sensors

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TCS Hall at Carnegie Mellon University

More than 300 sensing devices capable of measuring 12 types of data are mounted throughout Carnegie Mellon's TCS Hall.

Credit: Langan

A project at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) to build a secure Internet of Things infrastructure has erupted into a dispute over monitoring and privacy.

Researchers designed "Mite" sensors to gather data on ambient elements like temperature and light without capturing video or photos, while a "featurization" function reportedly records only fragments of data to avoid identifying individuals.

Some researchers felt the installation of Mites throughout CMU's Tata Consultancy Services Hall violated their privacy; students and faculty exploring technology's social aspects thought the devices would be used to monitor them without consent.

Disagreement over the project has divided CMU's Institute for Software Research, with supporters claiming the technology can uphold privacy while opponents argue the opposite. The Mites also have drawn controversy for their potential commercialization and incorporation into smart buildings worldwide.

From MIT Technology Review
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Abstracts Copyright © 2023 SmithBucklin, Washington, D.C., USA


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