Big Brother has a big brother: the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things is the next evolution of the internet, connecting not just traditional web-enabled devices but also any kind of electrical appliance to the internet. This is typical of new waves of technology; the capabilities are outstripping our ability to fully understand their implications, much less prepare for them, particularly in terms of regulations. Despite numerous report warning of potential invasion to our privacy at an unprecedented level of granularity, little has been done to protect citizens’ right to live their lives without being monitored in every action they take.

The future is now: FDA approves first pill with digital sensor

The Internet of Things has been a big buzz word in technology for a couple years now. The Internet of Things refers to how everyday devices are becoming connected or digitised with technology. Who would have thought that pills could be digitised and that prescribed medicines could become part of The Internet of Things? It happened this past November when the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved the first pill with a digital sensor. What does this mean for medicine? It means that the prescribing doctor can be notified when a patient takes their medication; or maybe even more importantly, if they didn’t take their medication as prescribed.

June Andrews: policy support for dementia needs to be adequate

A better management of chronic illnesses such as dementia can be done by harnessing technological solutions. But this kind of innovative support cannot be used unless it respects the rights of people affected by the disease. In contrast, those close to dementia patients have a responsibility to adopt preventive steps to manage the disease. But this can only happen once governments implement adequate level of support. In this exclusive EuroScientist interview, June Andrews, director of the Dementia Services Development Centre at the University of Stirling, in Scotland, UK, analyses the potential and the drawbacks of innovation for the 50 million people worldwide affected by this condition.

Data Privacy

We have prepared a selection of article and opinions related to how the digital era is going to change our society, in a way that data privacy will never be the same as ever before. It is no mystery that technology evolves faster than regulations. Yet, this could have some serious consequences for our privacy in our highly connected word. Each one of use leaves a trail of digital breadcrumbs, which is likely to grow over time as more and more every-day objects are connected to the internet. We look at what needs to happen to ensure that the digital world best serves our societies and that our privacy is protected.

Dirk Helbing: the potential and the perils of Big Data

Big Data is becoming a new paradigm of evidence-based decision making, creating new possibilities to build smarter, more resilient and more efficient cities and societies. In this interview, Dirk Helbing, professor of computational social science at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, explains how to best utilise information for ourselves and our society, and what pitfalls may lie ahead.