iSchool@Syracuse Immersion 2017: You and the Internet of Things

Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies (iSchool) kicked off the school year by hosting a weekend-long on-campus seminar titled, You and the Internet of Things (IoT). The seminar examined all aspects of life in which people and machines have become more interconnected.

From September 29 to October 1, online and on-campus students, alumni, and industry practitioners came together across iSchool’s graduate programs and ventured to campus to learn more. Stephanie Rinehart, who is a current student in the Master of Science in Library and Information Science program, shared her thoughts on the conference: 


“The seminar was great because it allowed me to meet my instructors and fellow students in the MS in Library and Information Science program. It was wonderful to spend time with people I had only ever spent class time with and to be given the opportunity to socialize with them. As an online student, it’s easy to feel disengaged from your university community. This weekend’s seminar really drove home that I’m part of the Syracuse University community and that they value us online students too,” she said.  


Jill Hurst-Wahl, an associate professor in the Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies and previous director of the MS in Library and Information Science program, recounted the conference in an overview blog post in which she highlighted each of the three main speakers:

Megan Snyder, Syracuse University alumna and security strategy consultant at Accenture, explained that “things” can live long, but software cannot. For example, when people do not update the software on their cellphones, security gaps may occur. Low tech devices can have access to sensitive data, so cybersecurity professionals must continue innovating technology to keep preventative security processes up-to-date.

Radhika Garg, an assistant professor at the iSchool, tackled questions on user privacy in relation to the IoT. She used the example of Dropbox: Do you use Dropbox? Do you know where that data is actually being stored? Probably not. The IoT dilemma weighs the pros and cons of data collection. On one hand, IoT makes users’ lives simpler. On the other hand, a plethora of data is being collected on users’ Internet habits daily, but who is getting all of this data in the end? Professor Garg suggested next steps including privacy by design and privacy transparency.

The CIO at Crouse Hospital and Syracuse University iSchool alumna, Kim Rose, wrapped up the conference talking specifically about the IoT in hospitals. New technology both inside and outside hospitals is vastly changing how medicine is being practiced and how patient data is being stored, creating simplicity but also a great deal of risk. New technology both inside and outside hospitals is vastly changing how medicine is being practiced and how patient data is being stored, creating simplicity but also a great deal of risk.

The seminar’s speakers provided great insight into the Internet of Things through various lenses and even encouraged the conversation to move into the social media realm. Using the hashtag #IoTSUiSchool, students and speakers alike could add their thoughts on the sessions live throughout the weekend.

 

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