UK consumer review magazine Which?: your smart home is spying on you, from your TV to your toothbrush

#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/06/03/your-tv-is-watching-back.html

4 Likes
#2

Yes an expectation of privacy, in this corporate day and age, is simply a fantasy.

1 Like
#3

I doubt this is a surprise to anyone here. That’s why I don’t have any ‘smart’ devices, and my ‘smart’ TV is disconnected from the Internet (till they start putting cellular chips inside to bypass that).

It’s pretty easy to avoid, really - just avoid anything that advertises ‘smart’ and/or mobile integration. As a bonus, the dumb things are cheaper and they work better. * shake fist at cloud * And I know this is old man stuff and kids don’t give a shit about privacy because they’ve been taught not to expect any by their neurotic parents and corporations.

2 Likes
#4

Statements like “Avoid all smart devices” aren’t the right answer, and they don’t help. Millions of people will buy these things because they actually want whatever benefits the products might give them, privacy be damned; and these other customers do not care what you think. This crowd of people provides the impetus (profit) for manufacturers to continue to sell more IoT devices.

Real fixes for these problems will only come with legislation. And we all know that legislation is slow-moving stuff.

Right now, law enforcement is enamored with the IoT being used to provide evidence. Remember the case with the cops wanting data from Alexa to see if it recorded a midnight murder? Amazon didn’t have the data, but it didn’t matter - the guy had a smart water meter that showed the use of hundreds of gallons of water around 3:00 AM; this was used as corroborating evidence to show he had cleaned up the crime scene. So don’t look to law enforcement to want to put a cap on these devices.

In the past, this might have been impacted by some kind of scandal - something directly offending a bunch of politicians; some reporters finding GPS data, smart home info, web cam footage, or other evidence that helps piece together a story about a senator’s sexual dalliances. But these days, don’t expect much - our current politicians have demonstrated zero shame about anything and everything they’ve been doing for the last two years. Moral outrage is dead as a motivator.

In the meantime, we can look to the tech sector to maybe come up with a band-aid solution, such as a home network IDP device that kills unwanted traffic. Ironically, that will probably need to be built on crowd-sourced data.

2 Likes
#5

The unnamed smart TV which contacted 700 different IP addresses during 15 minutes’ use was described as a Samsung in the Guardian. But it wouldn’t be too surprising if most smart TVs did similar things.

#6

Works for me. But I see your point - we need a solution that works for all.

1 Like
#7

just don’t get a fridge to kool you laptop

closed #8

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.