Idea Challenge by EIT ICT Labs: "Privacy, security and trust in the era of IoT"

May 20, 2015

Don’t miss if you are curious about the emerging IoT scene or look for support for your innovative digital startup!

On May 13, EIT ICT Labs came to Garage48 HUB to talk about the privacy, security and trust issues surrounding IoT business and the introduction about the EIT ICT Labs Idea Challenge program. The event was moderated by Olaf Manuel Maennel, Professor of Cyber Security at Tallinn University of Technology.

For those who has not heard about EIT ICT Labs, it is a leading European digital innovation and education organization. It’s mission is to foster innovative technology and entrepreneurial talent for economic growth and quality of life in Europe. It organizes the largest pan-European startup contest called EIT ICT Labs Idea Challenge. The application for the next event is opened until July 6 for European startups which focus on Health & Wellbeing, Smart Spaces, Cyber-Physical Systems, Future Cloud, Cyber Security and Privacy, Internet of Things, Urban Life and Mobility or Smart Energy Systems. Three teams in the each of the 8 categories can get prize. To shortly introduce, the 1st prize includes 40,000 EUR and variety of supports by EIT ICT Labs. As Maren Lesche, Communication and Marketing Manager at EIT ICT Labs Germany, mentioned, if your startup is in Cyber-Physical Systems, you have more possibility to get prize since the competition in the topic is much lower than others.

Are you a student who want to be a future entrepreneur? Here is the great opportunity for you. Matteo Cevese, Privacy Security & Trust Community Coordinator at EIT ICT Labs, introduced about an amazing summer program for students, Startify7. In the coming summer, three entrepreneurship academies will be held for 2 weeks in UK (digital health), Italy (cyber security) and Germany (IoT). You have to pay only for your flight ticket!

The topic moved from the interesting events to IoT. Three enthusiastic IoT entrepreneurs talked about their IoT products.

The context of the current IoT popularity and the ethical issues were introduced by Indrek Rebane, CTO at Buildit Hardware Accelerator. In short, the reason why IoT is such a big trend is because the cost of devices and internet have been getting much cheaper than 10 years ago and as a result, everyone can easily connect things to internet nowadays. Since everything can be connected to internet nowadays, the ethical issues such as privacy and security have become highlighted. He emphasized that those concerns which are brought by the IoT are much less that the concerns which the IoT is solving. For example, his current project: a camera tool for people tracking and detecting at airports, which will increase people's security by reducing the danger of terrorism and other crimes during some people may feel their privacy are violated.

Jovan Stevovic from Chino, offering secure API and storage for sensitive data according to EU laws, pointed out the big problem of mHealth business such as wearable devices with sensors and apps. The thing you have to know is that 85% of the existing mHealth applications ignore the compliance with privacy laws although many people concern about how the apps deal with their data. It is because of complicity and time consuming process for the app developers. Then, the Chino are solving the problem by allowing those mHealth developers to outsource privacy issues and focus on app development. By the way Chino won the EIT ICT Labs Idea Challenge on Cyber Security and Privacy in 2014

Indrek Hirvlaan talked about his new product, a smart gate device called FlexiBell. It connects automated door and phone, and allows people to talk with visitors and let them in even when they are away from the place.  

There were interesting conversation which must be interesting for those who are interested in IoT. What do you think is the biggest risk in IoT era you have to consider carefully? The answer is human beings. Do you remember the celebrity iCloud photo hack in 2014? The technological weakness was not the factor of the hack. It was because of their simple and weak passwords. As the amount of information has been extremely increasing with IoT, you need to think about those human error. Another thing you need to think is that who will use the data collected from you for what purpose in the future. For example, health tracker devices will be most likely used by health insurance companies to check if the person is healthy or not and refuse him to apply the insurance. 

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