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Sun Sep 25 19:23:49 SAST 2016

Your dishwasher's watching you

©The Daily Telegraph | 23 September, 2016 07:34
File photo.
Image by: George Doyle / Getty Images

Homeowners could be in danger of having their washing machines, toasters and coffee-makers hacked as they become increasingly hooked up to the internet.

But the "internet of things", which will connect 100billion electronic devices to the internet and to each other within five years, will leave people vulnerable to being spied on by their own appliances.

Chris Inglis, former deputy director of the US National Security Agency, said such a level of integration was a new threat and people should "just say 'no'" to devices such as dishwashers being brought online.

Such devices are increasingly being manufactured with built-in Wi-Fi as the cost of the technology falls. Devotees of the internet of things ultimately want to have almost anything with an on-off switch connected to the net.

Europe's biggest software company, SAP, and the German appliances manufacturer Bosch this week signed a partnership agreement in terms of which SAP will write programs that will enable interaction with - and between - Bosch products over the internet.

Developments could include anti-cholesterol pills with embedded sensors that allow doctors to monitor a patient's conditions remotely over the internet.

"All these devices will talk to each other," said Benedict Evans, a US technology venture capitalist. "So if you walk into the house with someone your security camera doesn't recognise, and your calendar mentions "date", some sort of AI system will dim the lights and start playing Barry White."


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