Summary of What Your Smart Devices Know (and Share) About You

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Rating

9 Overall

10 Applicability

9 Innovation

7 Style


Recommendation

Are you comfortable watching your smart TV while your smart TV is watching you? Journalists Kashmir Hill and Surya Mattu explored the inner workings of smart devices to find the depths to which they invade users’ privacy, and the results are disturbing. getAbstract recommends Hill and Mattu’s report, which contains some strong language, to those who are succumbing to the siren’s call of the Internet of Things. “The future dystopia is getting here fast.”

In this summary, you will learn

  • What your smart devices know about you,
  • How often smart devices send data to their manufacturers and
  • Why companies must prioritize consumer privacy.
 

About the Speakers

Kashmir Hill is a technology journalist. Surya Mattu is an engineer and an investigative journalist.

 

Summary

When Kashmir Hill’s husband bought her an Amazon Echo smart speaker, Hill, a journalist, decided to turn her residence into a “smart home.” She wired up her apartment with 18 smart devices, all of which connect to the Internet, collect data and communicate with their owners. She then invited fellow journalist Surya Mattu to build a special router that would monitor the smart devices that were surveilling the Hill’s home. For two months, the router logged every network packet that entered or left the home, telling Mattu what the devices were sharing with their manufacturers and with the Hill’s Internet service provider (ISP).


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