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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 Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @11:04AM (#47407273)

    IMHO, anyone who implements this and gets burgled should have known better.
    The spooks will also love this.
    The Advertisers will be frothing at the mouth at the thought of getting access to this.
    'Dave, as you seem to have spent the last hour sitting on the John, perhaps you might be interested in a padded seat for your 'throne'?'

    etc etc etc

    This is just getting silly. Our private lives are NOT FOR SALE (or Spying)

  • by Joe Gillian ( 3683399 ) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @11:10AM (#47407313)

    Sure, he did all kinds of dirt-gathering in order to try and impeach Clinton, but no one took him seriously. He lost a Supreme Court appointment, his case against Clinton was essentially turned into a laughingstock and ultimately thrown out. The only people who actually cared about the Monica Lewinsky affair were the people trying to use the case to score political points against Clinton and Starr himself - sort of like Benghazi today, except replace Ken Starr with John Boehner. I'm 90% sure the only reason Starr was even appointed as a special prosecutor was because he was the only person who would take a case like that.

    Ken Starr was, and continues to be, a clown. Am I afraid of Ken Starr? No.

    A better example would've been the NSA or FBI, who I'm sure could obtain and use data like this to incriminate people for actual crimes that could land them long prison sentences. The worst Ken Starr could ever do is accuse me of having sex.

  • Taxes (Score:4, Interesting)

    by nospam007 ( 722110 ) * on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @11:31AM (#47407497)

    "What I cannot understand is how politicians fail to understand what a future Kenneth Starr is going to do with data like this."

    A heating tax
    A sleeping tax ...
    and if you don't pay the sleeping tax more than 178 days in a year, you are living elsewhere and you need to pay a secondary habitation tax.

Disraeli was pretty close: actually, there are Lies, Damn lies, Statistics, Benchmarks, and Delivery dates.