As “smart houses” are becoming common, or even just robotic cleaners, what information do these home devices store, and how vulnerable are they to outside hackers? Here are some details.
Watch: Devices are watching you
Smart houses are a phenomenon that is becoming increasingly common and they can give you complete control of all electronic household appliances. Some even have additional security precautions such as security cameras that document everything in the household, day and night.
According to estimations, there are more than 20 billion connected devices around the world today, and in three years the number is expected to rise to 50 billion. One of the biggest trends is people connecting their electronics to their smartphones and the internet.
What is your security camera storing about you? Photo Credit: Channel 2 News
This advance in technology that is intended to facilitate everyday life and increase feelings of security may in fact do the exact opposite and leave you vulnerable to attacks by hackers who can remotely control any one of the devices and access everything connected to them, including smartphones and personal computers. These may contain personal information.
However, it is not always malicious hackers who can steal your information. Recently, founder and CEO of the iRobot company announced his company’s intention of selling information about the houses in which his smart robots clean to third-party companies. The announcement was met with an uproar that led to the CEO backtracking on his words.
What else? Documents revealed this year show how the CIA can turn smart televisions into a surveillance tool that can listen to and watch the room they are in.
Cayla doll can be easily hacked Photo Credit: Channel 2 News
Even our toys are becoming smart. The Cayla doll, for example, is claimed to be able to communicate and talk to children. However, earlier this year, security experts discovered that Cayla can easily be hacked, a fact that puts children under the risk of being listen to by strangers. The doll can also be used to give voice commands to other smart devices, such as door locks.
A survey carried out by the Israeli Law, Information and Technology Authority found that 60% of smart devices do not reveal exactly what personal information is being stored and what it is used for. 70% did not show where the information is being stored, whether it is on the device itself or the company, and 75% did not include instructions on how to remove stored information.