Smart Home Privacy


Regardless of whether you create an account or “log in”, *every* Internet destination, Smart Device, and App is gathering private data about your activity. It starts with your IP Address at the point you access a network on your phone, tablet, computer, smart device, or internet-connected toys and continues as long as you use them, every time you use them. If you are optimistic, you may feel like you have “nothing to hide, and therefore nothing to fear”. Recent real-world examples show how the best of corporate intent can go awry. To see just how much of your private data might be out of your control, watch the short video. You’ll see that your “Smart Home” might be a little too smart.

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 What is happening inside your Smart Home?

Keep in mind, once you connect your Smart Home to the Internet it is not just device manufacturers who have access to your data. Your Telecom Provider or Internet Service Provider will also be able to monitor your private data and sell it to the highest bidder. But it doesn’t stop there! Governments, even in the United States, monitor Internet Communications in their entirety.  Meanwhile, corporations have become a punchline in the privacy debate as they continue to lose our private data to hackers. Most of us are now aware how once-innocuous Social Media data at Facebook and Twitter have become a national scandal. What many people overlook is that Smart Home Devices are simply a means to give appliances the power of apps on your phone. Appliances literally become Applications.

 

We gather on the couch with our favorite device and share screens streaming our favorite media from somewhere in the “cloud”. Many times, we don’t know from where that media emanates, who benefits from the viewership, or how that information might be used to classify and categorize us. Using your IP Address, an advertiser can determine your city, state, zip code, and and even your home address.  Retailers scrutinize where you live to game how much you might pay based on things like the average home value, income, age, voting record, and your browsing history.

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Thousands of Android Apps Compromising Kids Safety
You are the last line of defense for your data and privacy on the Internet. There is no agency responsible for your privacy and there are very few legal remedies for compromised information on the Internet. A good example is the “Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act” (COPPA), which is designed to protect children while using Smart Apps or Smart Toys. Recent Research by leading Universities shows that many children’s toys and apps regularly violate this law because of a lack of enforcement mechanisms. The same holds true for private consumer data held by corporations and collected through Smart Home Devices.