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Privacy Technology

Coddled, Surveilled, and Monetized: How Modern Houses Can Watch You 150

Presto Vivace (882157) links to a critical look in Time Magazine at the creepy side of connected household technology. An excerpt: A modern surveillance state isn't so much being forced on us, as it is sold to us device by device, with the idea that it is for our benefit. ... ... Nest sucks up data on how warm your home is. As Mocana CEO James Isaacs explained to me in early May, a detailed footprint of your comings and goings can be inferred from this information. Nest just bought Dropcam, a company that markets itself as a security tool allowing you to put cameras in your home and view them remotely, but brings with it a raft of disquieting implications about surveillance. Automatic wants you to monitor how far you drive and do things for you like talk to your your house when you're on your way home from work and turn on lights when you pull into your garage. Tied into the new SmartThings platform, a Jawbone UP band becomes a tool for remotely monitoring someone else's activity. The SmartThings hubs and sensors themselves put any switch or door in play. Companies like AT&T want to build a digital home that monitors your security and energy use. ... ... Withings Smart Body Analyzer monitors your weight and pulse. Teddy the Guardian is a soft toy for children that spies on their vital signs. Parrot Flower Power looks at the moisture in your home under the guise of helping you grow plants. The Beam Brush checks up on your teeth-brushing technique. Presto Vivaci adds, "Enough to make the Stasi blush. What I cannot understand is how politicians fail to understand what a future Kenneth Starr is going to do with data like this."
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Coddled, Surveilled, and Monetized: How Modern Houses Can Watch You

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  • by Russ1642 ( 1087959 ) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @11:09AM (#47407307)

    I went to the hospital a while back and they started collecting all sorts of private data. They even insisted on getting a blood sample, probably for some kind of DNA database. Then, when the doctor left me alone for a minute I looked on the counter at his clipboard and there it was. The smoking gun. He had PAGES of information on me. So be warned, the government is already doing everything it can to monitor the population.

  • by Dr. Spork ( 142693 ) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @11:22AM (#47407423)
    This is so scary! If somebody learns every detail of the motions I make when I brush my teeth, they will basically have all the info they need to turn me into a zombie servant of the NSA-corprotocracy! And now they also want to know the humidity in my house!? Goddamn it, didn't our founding fathers say that the moisture content of our residence shall not collected? I'm so outraged! Now excuse me while I upload all my photos, featuring everyone I've ever associated with, to Facebook.
  • by Noah Haders ( 3621429 ) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @12:08PM (#47407849)
    this is why I'm really excited about Apple's HomeKit structure. It's essentially a "walled garden" to allow your devices to connect but keep them in line in terms of sharing information or providing external access. We really need a gatekeeper here to keep out the corporate predators. Apple is the only company with a legitimate financial interest in protecting your privacy, because it is a big differentiator between them and Google, Facebook and their ilk.

Never buy from a rich salesman. -- Goldenstern