Earlier this week NPR had a four minute story about smart homes that mentioned an impressive new synthetic sensor built by students at Carnegie Mellon University that can determine when dozens of different "dumb" appliances are running based upon light, sound and vibration. While this recent development was impressive, the story took a darker turn as cybersecurity experts expressed concerns over Roomba robots mapping homes so that an inventory of products your home consumes could be resold to marketers.
While it's great that a smart thermostat can sense time of day and reduce heating and cooling expenses all year long, other smart devices may be unsecured and could potentially make your consumption patterns available to others with financial motives. If we mount an Angel Soft Dash button in our bathroom, wirelessly connected to our Amazon Prime account, and Charmin gets wind of it, will we suddenly see online offers, commercials and promotions from Charmin in an attempt to sway our toilet paper buying habits? Would you take offense to this type of "smart" marketing or see it as a benefit in terms of reduced prices resulting from competition? While we understand that many smart devices are there to quickly supply our homes with relevant products, are we really worried that Alexa might go on some type of frenzied robot shopping spree and purchase a years worth of toothpaste because she saved 14% over a single tube?
Please post your smart home and Internet of Things security concerns below!
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