If Your Connected Home Could Talk – Safe and Savvy Blog by F-Secure

Oh, but IT can talk***


The old cliche “If these walls could talk…” is taking on new meaning in the world of the Internet of Things.
Smart walls that actually talk aren’t on the market yet. But your connected home is capable of listening, remembering and divulging more about you than you may have imagined, explains researcher Charles Givre, a data scientist at Booz Allen Hamilton. (Yep, the same company that employed whistleblower Edward Snowden.)
In a talk at the Make Data Work conference in New York, Givre described what IoT devices Nest Thermostat, the Automatic Car dongle and the Wink hub learned about him as he used them as designed.
His conclusion?
“‘Smart’ devices collect and broadcast a lot of information beyond what you might expect. In aggregate, this information can reveal a great deal about the device’s owner.”
This information includes:

  • Your Facebook and Twitter handles
  • What other connected devices you have in your home and when they were connected
  • Your home’s location
  • Your internet service provider
  • When you are home
  • All the trips you take in your car (depending on your privacy settings)
  • Possibly your religion (if you, like Givre and Walter from The Big Lebowski, “don’t roll on Shabbos“)

Givre pointed out that most of the information is transferred securely but is stored in the cloud. Anyone who has access to your email address and password could reach it all.
At this point, connected homes are rare enough that it’s probably more convenient for thieves to physically stake out your home to note your comings and goings. But given the explosion of connected home technology, it’s just smart security to make sure your important passwords are unique, strong and unable to be guessed by anyone. This basic step — and thinking ahead about securing your connected home — is the best you can do, now that you’re aware just how much your connected home knows about you.
The makers of IoT devices also need to do due diligence to protect the sensitive data their devices are collecting — especially since government regulation isn’t erring on the side of consumers privacy.
“The Federal Trade Commission put out a report this year with best practices about how companies should notify their customers about data retention,” ProPublica‘s Lauren Kirchner reports. “Device makers say that customers can opt in or out of sharing their personal information with developers and third-party apps.”
So your connected devices may be talking to others without you even realizing you have the choice.
“If these walls could talk…”, shouldn’t you at least have a chance to decide whom they talk to?

*******

Click the link for this article AND more

https://safeandsavvy.f-secure.com/2017/04/24/if-your-connected-home-could-talk/

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About Kenneth T.

My blog, My way Welcome to a little piece of my life. Here you will find things concerning my everyday experiences and or my thoughts on everyday happenings. For instance you may find thoughts of my Farmstead, which is as my wife calls it, our Accidental Farming life. Perhaps on a whim, I might just jump on a soap box about what's going on with my crazy family (the immediate one, that is).~You don't need to put a penny in the coin slot for any commentary there~ You may find, new additions to what I call "Hobby-time". Ahh yes, my hobby... I make pinback buttons (some call them badges). Sorry for the shameful plug ;-) *** And then there is the outside the box or "Offtrack" thinking, part of me. Which can be anything else from aliens to the zoology of the Loch Ness monster, but will probably be more mundane as health concerns, for instance, to vaccinate or not. Is the Earth Flat or is it Hollow? Is there a dome? Is any of it real? Do you really want to know? Police brutality and the continuing corruption of established government, Big Business, Big Oil, Big Brother. Can we survive? Should we survive? The coming montrary collapse. There is so much going on, more then we see outside our windows.
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