Internet of things presents both technical and ethical questions

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Chamberlain's garage door opener lets users monitor and control their garage doors via mobile phones. It's convenient, but what happens to the data collected?

Chamberlain Group CIO Bill Radon met with a team of engineers and IT managers in 2012, asking what was next for the company, a leading maker of residential and commercial garage door openers.

Earlier, the team had delivered an Internet of Things device called MyQ Gateway to connect customers' smartphones to a narrow set of garage door products. Now Chamberlain wanted to build a device to connect with most garage door openers, even those from competitors. The result: MyQ Garage, which lets users monitor and control their garage doors with an Android or iOS smartphone.

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Selling through retailers like Apple and Best Buy has increased Chamberlain's sales, Radon says, though the private company won't release numbers. It has also put Radon under pressure to meet back-end IT demands to monitor thousands of devices worldwide, every few seconds.

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