Your smart TV, thermostat, and lights are all devices that are designed to make your life simpler, but they are also tracking and recording your activities. Any of your personal information is kept, like what you watch, when you come home, including the temperature in your home, and it may be sold to a private corporation or even your local police department. And there’s a good chance you won’t be able to do anything about it.
“We also have no idea where the data from our bedrooms, kitchens, and other parts of our house is being processed and retrieved. It’s really personal data; it tracks what we eat, where we sleep, and how much we weigh,” Albert Fox Cahn of the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project said.
A February report says 25% of Americans own smart home technology, meaning data is being collected from millions of Americans in their homes right now. Roughly 44% of smart home tech adopters are parents with children younger than 18 years of age. Researchers found over 50% of people who buy smart devices say it saves time, according to Policy Advice. But the comfort comes at a cost, as companies have a direct line to your home.
There are so many companies out there whose whole business model is collecting as much data on us as possible and selling it to advertisers,” said Cahn.
But data from your smart toaster isn’t the only information being sold. Georgetown Law Researchers found that Immigration and Customs Enforcement bought private data containing millions of phone, water, electricity, and other utility records to pursue immigration violations, according to The Washington Post.
Cahn says the courts need to step in.