This app lets you see IoT devices around you and what data they're taking

A new app launched this week will let you know what internet of things technologies are operating around you and what data they are collecting. The Internet of Things Assistant app and its infrastructure, created by Carnegie Mellon researchers, aims to give you more control over the devices tracking your activity and information.

With the app, you'll be able to see devices like public cameras with facial recognition technology, Bluetooth beacons tracking your location at the mall, and your neighbor's smart doorbell or smart speaker, according to a story published by Carnegie Mellon's Security and Privacy Institute. You can see what data these devices collect, and access privacy choices like opting in and out of data collection when available.

"Because of new laws like the General Data Protection Regulation and the California Consumer Privacy Act, people need to be informed about what data is collected about them and they need to be given some choices over these processes," professor Norman Sadeh, a CyLab faculty member in Carnegie Mellon's Institute for Software Research and the principal investigator on the project, said in the story. "We have built an infrastructure that enables owners of IoT technologies to comply with these laws, and an app that takes advantage of this infrastructure to empower people to find out about and control data collected by these technologies."

If you own an IoT device that operates in a public space, you can use an online portal to publish where your IoT devices are and what data they collect, so they can be added to the app's database.

"We've done the work for you," Sadeh said in the story. "All you need to do is start adding your IoT resources so you can be in compliance with today's privacy laws."

The app is free and available for both iOS and Android phones.

Sadeh didn't immediately respond to a request for additional comment.