How Much Privacy Do You Lose If You Decide To Have a Connected (IoT) Home?

How Much Privacy Do You Lose If You Decide To Have a Connected (IoT) Home?

Monday, March 27, 2017


There is absolutely no doubt that the idea of having a connected home (smart home) is something that can really have anyone excited. Just thinking of all the possibilities and the thought of being able to speak commands to devices to automate things is just too good to be true…right?

The principle of having a connected home is based on the sole objective of reaping the benefits of making life easier. However, it is important to note that internet of things has been known to have some drawbacks. The biggest being the amount of privacy that you will be giving up when you decide to adopt it into your home/life.

This post was inspired by a recent article I read on police summoning a murder suspect’s Amazon Echo to garner insights to substantiate whether or not he’s effectively guilty. Whilst the majority of us aren’t planning on committing a crime, I started to think, “just how much privacy do we really give up in a connected home…”

So here are a few ways in which IoT will interfere with your privacy; these simple facts may actually help you decide whether you truly want a connected home or not.

Exposure of Public Profiles

This is one of the major challenges that you will have to face when you embrace IoT. You would have agreed to various terms of services in the past to use different services etc; but it’ll be nothing like the depth of an IoT terms of service. This is because the idea of a connected home gives pieces of information regarding your personal lifestyle to people or parties that you may not approve of.

For instance, it is easy to determine how you drive if your car gets connected to IoT. This will enable an insurance company to compute how much you will be paying as insurance rates; you could get really high premiums because you brake too hard or speed excessively. The opposite of course can apply.


Another challenging area is to do with hackers. Your home could be easily invaded by even the most inexperienced hacker. There was a group of researchers from Germany that once devised means of intercepting data that allowed them to monitor what television shows people were watching at every given point in time.

As there is a significant amount of personal data that could be open to being compromised, you can almost say you will no longer have secrets as everything can or may become accessible.

Security Challenges

There are still a lot of security issues that companies need to address before IoT privacy can actually be guaranteed. There was a group of Microsoft researchers who discovered that the smart home platform of Samsung (SmartThings) had lots of loopholes that can be easily exploited by hackers. According to them, the platform isn’t as complex enough as it was originally thought, and it can be easily be maneuvered by the most basic of hackers.

So there we have it; some things to consider when deciding whether or not to have your home IoT enabled. It is obvious that you may have to sacrifice your privacy if you want to make use of IoT.