How do you sell smart technology to consumers when there is an ethical responsibility to gain informed consent about the real risk of harm presented by connected devices?

The quasi-infinite connectivity of the Internet of Things (IoT) could mean that everyone will eventually need to watch a privacy briefing prior to buying a vacuum cleaner, or take a security awareness class before connecting a smart TV to their home network.

But that will not happen anytime soon, because every sale — from the simplest fitness tracker to the most invasive edtech in schools — needs to be an impulse purchase, or it risks impacting economic growth. Stock markets frown upon flat quarters.

For me, that exuberant push to sign up for more AI-driven cloud gizmos translates into push-back, as companies wonder why due diligence is necessary when conducting cybersecurity audits or vendor risk assessments. But that’s okay, because this is a transitional period, and no one can say that we don’t live in interesting times.

Although evolving at a glacial pace that trails the frenetic speed of innovation, tech safety standards do evolve. And even though it takes many privacy breaches and data abuses, legislation reform eventually does happen as well.

In Canada, consumers can soon have real hopes for improved data protection and even <gasp> enforcement of their human right to privacy. Even if they do not fully understand consent.