The list of entities in the world who are intent upon culling you and your home for information appears to be growing on a daily basis. Hackers want to get into your Mac, iPhone, and iPad so any connection to the internet is fraught with some measure of peril.
Unscrupulous advertisers track our every move online; which website we visit and when, which advertising that is placed before our eyes, which search words we use on Google, and that information is used to build a roving dossier, a personality and personal profile of who we are, where we live, what we do, what we like, and who we know.
Wait. There’s more!
More and more homes have IoT devices– internet of things– appliances of one kind or another that are connected to our home Wi-Fi systems, each connected somehow to the internet of things so such devices can connect to and be managed by our iPhones, iPads, Macs, or whatever other device we choose. Surely you don’t think those cute little Amazon Echo devices just sit there and do our bidding? They spy. They collect data. They’re in constant communication with Amazon, an online retailer which is better at collecting and using data than any company beyond Google.
Your home is spying on you.
Look at all the devices for the home that connect to Wi-Fi, that are managed by your handheld devices (or, in the case of Amazon’s, your voice), that also phone home to who knows where to send information about who we are, where we live, what we do, our personal habits, and now, thanks to in-home camera like Amazon’s Echo Show– ostensibly a FaceTime-like, Siri-like device that knows what you look like, what clothes you wear, and what furniture and appliances are in your home.
Your home is spying on you.
And maybe your car.
Why not? We’ve all seen the news videos of cars being hijacked via wireless connections. Tesla collects an inordinate amount of personal data, including who you are, where you drive, perhaps even what you say (can’t afford a Tesla so I don’t know how Siri-like the interface can be; sorry, my bad for not being well to do).
Many homeowners have security cameras. One of the best television commercials I’ve seen in years is the one from iRing where basketball great Shaqille O’Neal helps to install a security camera on average folks’ homes; cameras which can be monitored remotely thanks to an iPhone app. Who else can monitor the camera? Hackers. Robots. Perhaps your neighbor.
Samsung has a $3,000 refrigerator with a touchscreen on the front to help you manage and store items. It’s a 21.5-inch touchscreen. That’s iMac size. It’s Wi-Fi enabled. Wouldn’t Amazon love to know what you store inside? Samsung knows. Does Samsung have a good record for customer safety? Remember Galaxy Note 7 fires? The company’s head honcho is heading to five years in prison. Sure. Samsung will keep our personal information safe.
Yes, your home is spying on you. Nearly every device you connect to your home Wi-Fi system phones home with data it collects and it’s not easy to prevent such spying and information transfer, either.
Note to Apple: Now would be a good time for a safe home router with controls to manage IoT devices.