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(Guardian)   How to stop smart devices from spying on you in your home. Step 1: Don't buy smart devices. Thanks for coming to my TED talk   (theguardian.com) divider line
    More: Obvious, Privacy, Domestic robot, Roomba, Home automation, Power line communication, Risk, Closed-circuit television, Security  
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1753 clicks; posted to Main » on 16 Aug 2022 at 9:05 AM (15 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2022-08-16 11:38:36 AM  
Remember, folks: the "S" in "IoT" stands for "Security"
 
2022-08-16 11:38:51 AM  
Well after half a century on this Earth it's amusing to hear that it's a smart move to have a dumb house if you like privacy.
 
2022-08-16 11:40:09 AM  
It should be clear by now that the smartest thing about most people is their phone. If anything, most of them should let an AI make their decisions instead of doing it themselves. Some of them practically do that already, letting Facespace or Twatter or Apple tell them what to think, read, feel, etc.

So you don't have to worry about "tech" spying on you, it already knows what you're doing because it told you to do those things.

It's weird that people don't know that.
 
2022-08-16 11:43:37 AM  

debug: Privacy advocates such as Vaile are concerned the robot vacuum cleaner will give Amazon access to floor plans of users' homes, using mapping features some iRobot products already offer.

Uh, so farking what?  You could probably find the layout of almost any house that sold in the last 5 years just by looking at pictures on Trulia or Zillow or the builder's website.


It's also a matter of determining what data you're willing to trade in return for greater convenience. For instance, Lackmann has Phillips Hue smart lights - but has disabled the feature that allows him to control them remotely. That function requires an internet connection, and switching the lights off when he's out feels like a small reward for letting a company into his home.

Exactly what data is a smart lightbulb collecting?  It doesn't have a microphone or a camera.  Are people really concerned about a company knowing when you turn your lights off and on?  Really?


It's nice that you live in a world where there are no software vulnerabilities. Everyone else lives in the real world. The problem is that if the data is being collected, its available to anyone that can eavesdrop and break them.

Then there is the simple problem that you can't trust companies just to collect your on/off routine (which, btw is also a danger) and these devices are designed to work with full access to the internet via unrestricted access to your internal network. So yes, these lightbulbs can be sending far more than just on/off signals.
 
2022-08-16 11:46:35 AM  

Psychopusher: I'm a total tech geek, and have been since the early 80s, but even I don't really care much for smart devices.  I have a smartphone, and I have an Android box, and of course my computer, and that's about it.  I don't care about a smart TV (I'm still using a 12+ year old Samsung 1080P dumb TV and an equally old Logitech Harmony One for a universal remote), and I really have no use for digital assistants beyond what's already in my phone.  As much as ST:TNG made it seem fun to talk to your computer, the reality is, I have absolutely no desire to do so.  I do think home automation could be useful, but only up to a point.  I try and avoid devices that I use my smartphone to control because if history has taught me anything, as soon as it is deemed obsolete or the company that makes the stuff goes belly up, the app disappears from the App Store and if you lose it, you never get it back.  (I still have a pair of Roam Ropes app-controlled wireless earbuds that are utterly useless now because of that.  You need the app to access the DSP controls like the EQ, and without it, they sound like shiat.  Which is a pity because they sounded excellent when set to your liking.)

I'll stick to mostly dumb devices.


If your phone is Android, maybe this helps? https://m.apkpure.com/roam/com.roamwith.roameq
 
2022-08-16 11:48:19 AM  

GalFisk: Psychopusher: I'm a total tech geek, and have been since the early 80s, but even I don't really care much for smart devices.  I have a smartphone, and I have an Android box, and of course my computer, and that's about it.  I don't care about a smart TV (I'm still using a 12+ year old Samsung 1080P dumb TV and an equally old Logitech Harmony One for a universal remote), and I really have no use for digital assistants beyond what's already in my phone.  As much as ST:TNG made it seem fun to talk to your computer, the reality is, I have absolutely no desire to do so.  I do think home automation could be useful, but only up to a point.  I try and avoid devices that I use my smartphone to control because if history has taught me anything, as soon as it is deemed obsolete or the company that makes the stuff goes belly up, the app disappears from the App Store and if you lose it, you never get it back.  (I still have a pair of Roam Ropes app-controlled wireless earbuds that are utterly useless now because of that.  You need the app to access the DSP controls like the EQ, and without it, they sound like shiat.  Which is a pity because they sounded excellent when set to your liking.)

I'll stick to mostly dumb devices.

If your phone is Android, maybe this helps? https://m.apkpure.com/roam/com.roamwith.roameq


Unfortunately, I'm on the other one.  No side-loading for me.
 
2022-08-16 11:50:57 AM  
I remember about 4 years ago now talking with a Samsung engineer about their Internet connected refrigerator. I asked what the protections were against bored kids in Romania deciding to hack something.

His response was that the encryption was $234-bit and essentially impossible to crack and besides no one would want to hack a refrigerator anyway.

We each came away from the conversation convinced the other one was not well.
 
2022-08-16 11:51:29 AM  

DanInKansas: I remember about 4 years ago now talking with a Samsung engineer about their Internet connected refrigerator. I asked what the protections were against bored kids in Romania deciding to hack something.

His response was that the encryption was $234-bit and essentially impossible to crack and besides no one would want to hack a refrigerator anyway.

We each came away from the conversation convinced the other one was not well.


Sorry about the weird dollar sign above. Voice to text just decided that I should have that and I didn't see it before I hit post.
 
2022-08-16 11:58:20 AM  
I started getting concerned about smart devices when my toaster needed to be cleaned and displayed the message TAKE ME IN THE BATHTUB WITH YOU.
 
2022-08-16 12:04:57 PM  

ComaToast: I started getting concerned about smart devices when my toaster needed to be cleaned and displayed the message TAKE ME IN THE BATHTUB WITH YOU.


Username/post convergence detected.
 
2022-08-16 12:06:02 PM  

SMB2811: debug: Privacy advocates such as Vaile are concerned the robot vacuum cleaner will give Amazon access to floor plans of users' homes, using mapping features some iRobot products already offer.

Uh, so farking what?  You could probably find the layout of almost any house that sold in the last 5 years just by looking at pictures on Trulia or Zillow or the builder's website.


It's also a matter of determining what data you're willing to trade in return for greater convenience. For instance, Lackmann has Phillips Hue smart lights - but has disabled the feature that allows him to control them remotely. That function requires an internet connection, and switching the lights off when he's out feels like a small reward for letting a company into his home.

Exactly what data is a smart lightbulb collecting?  It doesn't have a microphone or a camera.  Are people really concerned about a company knowing when you turn your lights off and on?  Really?

It's nice that you live in a world where there are no software vulnerabilities. Everyone else lives in the real world. The problem is that if the data is being collected, its available to anyone that can eavesdrop and break them.

Then there is the simple problem that you can't trust companies just to collect your on/off routine (which, btw is also a danger) and these devices are designed to work with full access to the internet via unrestricted access to your internal network. So yes, these lightbulbs can be sending far more than just on/off signals.


Well in the very next paragraph he mentions that he does allow his thermostat access to the internet so he can adjust it remotely.  So, what would these light bulbs be collecting that his thermostat isn't?  This kind of shiat is what guest networks are for.
 
2022-08-16 12:09:13 PM  

Smelly Pirate Hooker: It should be clear by now that the smartest thing about most people is their phone. If anything, most of them should let an AI make their decisions instead of doing it themselves. Some of them practically do that already, letting Facespace or Twatter or Apple tell them what to think, read, feel, etc.

So you don't have to worry about "tech" spying on you, it already knows what you're doing because it told you to do those things.

It's weird that people don't know that.


The phones people carry are typically smarter than they are..
 
2022-08-16 12:31:54 PM  

cryinoutloud: Manic Depressive Mouse: I like the idea of a smart house that can tell me what I have at a given time. Not just foodstuffs; I'd like my house to remind me that I have five identical black tank tops and probably don't need more, or that I already bought a copy of that book because I get confused easily.
Then I think of all the possibilities for it to go wrong and I don't like the idea at all.
I don't have Siri, Alexa, or any of others. I talk to animate objects like my cats and plants.

Advertising doesn't tell you to NOT buy things.  If you already have too many clothes, maybe you need to get off the farking phone once in a while.  Maybe you need to get off the phone, period.  "You like the idea"  so what?  Lots of people like lots of things that make them into lazy assholes.  Lots of people would like to spend their days in an opium den while a young girl sucks their dicks.  We try not to lower the bar any more than it already has been.
Until you go shopping again.

[Fark user image image 436x313]

Can you guys get a farking clue once in a while?

Sleeper_agent: Also-- don't ride in a car.

There's nothing smart in my car, and i will continue to drive old cars until I am dead.  Also my car doesn't make me sign in to drive it.


Clearly, I've struck a nerve, and for that, I apologize. Have you tried Xanax? It'll change your life until it wears off.

I don't want a smart house for ads. I want a smart house I can contact when I'm shopping and ask if I already picked up an item or not. My partner and I often go shopping on our own on our way home from work. I want the house to say, "stop! Partner already took advantage of the toilet paper sale, but he forgot to buy fish soap."

Also, I don't even have a Flintstones-type car let alone a smart car.  That means I win, right?
 
2022-08-16 12:32:49 PM  
I put mine on an isolated vlan and they're only permitted to talk to my server.  Any communication with the Internet is brokered through a system under my control.

A smart device that won't work that way is a art device I won't buy.
 
2022-08-16 12:35:16 PM  

debug: SMB2811: debug: Privacy advocates such as Vaile are concerned the robot vacuum cleaner will give Amazon access to floor plans of users' homes, using mapping features some iRobot products already offer.

Uh, so farking what?  You could probably find the layout of almost any house that sold in the last 5 years just by looking at pictures on Trulia or Zillow or the builder's website.


It's also a matter of determining what data you're willing to trade in return for greater convenience. For instance, Lackmann has Phillips Hue smart lights - but has disabled the feature that allows him to control them remotely. That function requires an internet connection, and switching the lights off when he's out feels like a small reward for letting a company into his home.

Exactly what data is a smart lightbulb collecting?  It doesn't have a microphone or a camera.  Are people really concerned about a company knowing when you turn your lights off and on?  Really?

It's nice that you live in a world where there are no software vulnerabilities. Everyone else lives in the real world. The problem is that if the data is being collected, its available to anyone that can eavesdrop and break them.

Then there is the simple problem that you can't trust companies just to collect your on/off routine (which, btw is also a danger) and these devices are designed to work with full access to the internet via unrestricted access to your internal network. So yes, these lightbulbs can be sending far more than just on/off signals.

Well in the very next paragraph he mentions that he does allow his thermostat access to the internet so he can adjust it remotely.  So, what would these light bulbs be collecting that his thermostat isn't?  This kind of shiat is what guest networks are for.


Yes, clearly this is not really a bright person. That doesn't really change the fact that the data being collected is a risk itself and there are risks beyond just the obvious because you can not trust the company. As far as what the lightbulbs collect that the thermostat doesn't, you don't know. Different companies, different collections, different reasons because we have accepted that this is just the way it is. Different companies also lead to different vulnerabilities so you are increasing your attack surface by using more.

Isolated guest network doesn't change the fact you are still broadcasting to a 3rd party you behavior patterns. You're also moving to the idea that it's your own fault that things go wrong because you didn't become an IT Operations expert.

Reality is, there is no really safe way to use smart devices. They basically exist because people aren't interested in knowing better.
 
2022-08-16 1:14:23 PM  

SMB2811: debug: SMB2811: debug: Privacy advocates such as Vaile are concerned the robot vacuum cleaner will give Amazon access to floor plans of users' homes, using mapping features some iRobot products already offer.

Uh, so farking what?  You could probably find the layout of almost any house that sold in the last 5 years just by looking at pictures on Trulia or Zillow or the builder's website.


It's also a matter of determining what data you're willing to trade in return for greater convenience. For instance, Lackmann has Phillips Hue smart lights - but has disabled the feature that allows him to control them remotely. That function requires an internet connection, and switching the lights off when he's out feels like a small reward for letting a company into his home.

Exactly what data is a smart lightbulb collecting?  It doesn't have a microphone or a camera.  Are people really concerned about a company knowing when you turn your lights off and on?  Really?

It's nice that you live in a world where there are no software vulnerabilities. Everyone else lives in the real world. The problem is that if the data is being collected, its available to anyone that can eavesdrop and break them.

Then there is the simple problem that you can't trust companies just to collect your on/off routine (which, btw is also a danger) and these devices are designed to work with full access to the internet via unrestricted access to your internal network. So yes, these lightbulbs can be sending far more than just on/off signals.

Well in the very next paragraph he mentions that he does allow his thermostat access to the internet so he can adjust it remotely.  So, what would these light bulbs be collecting that his thermostat isn't?  This kind of shiat is what guest networks are for.

Yes, clearly this is not really a bright person. That doesn't really change the fact that the data being collected is a risk itself and there are risks beyond just the obvious because you can not trust the company. As far as what the lightbulbs collect that the thermostat doesn't, you don't know. Different companies, different collections, different reasons because we have accepted that this is just the way it is. Different companies also lead to different vulnerabilities so you are increasing your attack surface by using more.

Isolated guest network doesn't change the fact you are still broadcasting to a 3rd party you behavior patterns. You're also moving to the idea that it's your own fault that things go wrong because you didn't become an IT Operations expert.

Reality is, there is no really safe way to use smart devices. They basically exist because people aren't interested in knowing better.


I'd personally be more concerned about hackers gaining access, which is why there's the guest network, not about data mining by a light bulb. I mean behavior patterns?  For a light?  Pretty good guess it has a lot to do with the time of day. Really not going to learn much there. /shrug
 
2022-08-16 2:12:50 PM  

DanInKansas: $234-bi


Two hundred thirty dollars....in bit strength encryption?

I like it.
 
2022-08-16 2:30:33 PM  
Sometime during 2020 Covid lockdown I was forced to update the software on my LG TV. Because at that point I was essentially a couch-man hybrid and insanely bored, I read the "Terms and Conditions". It actually said that they have the right to take screenshots of what I'm watching.

Gotta say that freaked me out a bit. I mean, I don't watch anything illegal but goddamn, that is a bit disconcerting.
 
2022-08-16 2:49:32 PM  
You would have to become a full Luddite/Unabomber type in order to have a chance of not being spied on these days.
 
2022-08-16 2:56:57 PM  

Dinjiin: [Fark user image 480x260]


Dunno how old the programmers you know are but, when I started out, some of my classes were still using punched cards, Hollerith, 80-column.

I have no fear of technology. Every room in my house has a sort of dedicated cell phone that can take voice commands and take video and play music. (The one in the bathroom doesn't do video). Almost all of my light bulbs are computers on my network, and I can set them to festive holiday colors if I'm in the mood, or dim them down to 2% if I have guests over... who might like to sleep but may also want to get up at 3am to find the toilet. All I have to do is ask the air if I want different lighting, or an alarm or timer, a math conversion, or Pink Floyd. The automatic vacuum cleaner is just wonderful.

I can't see any real programmer being afraid of technology. It's you guys who don't know how to use it that are the problem, picking up malware at some random porn or gambling site.
 
2022-08-16 5:01:10 PM  

lizaardvark: Dinjiin: [Fark user image 480x260]

Dunno how old the programmers you know are but, when I started out, some of my classes were still using punched cards, Hollerith, 80-column.

I have no fear of technology. Every room in my house has a sort of dedicated cell phone that can take voice commands and take video and play music. (The one in the bathroom doesn't do video). Almost all of my light bulbs are computers on my network, and I can set them to festive holiday colors if I'm in the mood, or dim them down to 2% if I have guests over... who might like to sleep but may also want to get up at 3am to find the toilet. All I have to do is ask the air if I want different lighting, or an alarm or timer, a math conversion, or Pink Floyd. The automatic vacuum cleaner is just wonderful.

I can't see any real programmer being afraid of technology. It's you guys who don't know how to use it that are the problem, picking up malware at some random porn or gambling site.


Yeah, I started with punch cards, too, and ended as a sr. systems admin for Linux for the government. I have *ZERO8 IoT - or, as an intelligent columnist wrote a few years ago, the Internet of Gratuitously Connected Insecure Things, pronounced idjit.

And no, I do not want a Net-connected thermostat, so some idiot 16 yr old down the block can turn my heat to max in the summer. I can look in my own fridge and see what I need. Feel free to open yourself to sextortion by having your fleshlight 'Net connected.
 
2022-08-16 5:21:00 PM  

DanInKansas: I remember about 4 years ago now talking with a Samsung engineer about their Internet connected refrigerator. I asked what the protections were against bored kids in Romania deciding to hack something.

His response was that the encryption was $234-bit and essentially impossible to crack and besides no one would want to hack a refrigerator anyway.

We each came away from the conversation convinced the other one was not well.


I'm with you. Some bored teenager will hack it for shiats and giggles


Gilfoyle Hacks Jian Yang's Smart Fridge 🤓 Silicon Valley
Youtube HcXu4_K1tMQ


// Nsfw language, but you know that cuse it's HBO
 
2022-08-16 6:05:52 PM  

whitroth: I do not want a Net-connected thermostat, so some idiot 16 yr old down the block can turn my heat to max in the summer.


I wanted one, but as mentioned previously I don't use one that has to connect to Amazon or China or something, and my firewall wouldn't let it if it tried.

I found it interesting to track the rate of heating or cooling in my home, as well as be able to do things like tell it I'm on my way home off a normal schedule and have the house ready when I arrive without wasting money on it all day long or having to guess the schedule and manually program the thermostat.  Now I pull out my phone and push a button.  And it can adjust based on exterior temperature, and with a feed from the government's weather service it can adjust based on anticipated exterior temperature and humidity.  I also linked it up with my window sensors so if someone's left windows open it tells me when I try to turn on the AC.

With a little more work, I could program it to happen automatically when I start heading home, but I haven't done that (yet)... but it does track my phone so everyone in my family can find where everyone else is.  It's helped once or twice.  And everyone in the family knows how to turn off the tracker if they don't feel like being logged.

I started it as a security system - door and window sensors - because why pay an alarm company a monthly fee to call me if an alarm goes off when I can get the notification directly?  Then I plugged in some temp sensors, a light sensor, some lighting controls, and then the thermostat.   Soon I intend to add an automatic water main shut-off, and maybe ask my gas utility if I can get a meter upgrade, because the newer ones have radio monitors and I could start documenting our natural gas usage.  I can also check my sump pump's float position, and I have flood and fire sensors networked in.  And I can have a peek at my security cameras... which can do facial recognition and object tracking.  Lost your keys?  The damn system can tell you where you left them.

Oh, did I mention the radio receiver picks up my TPS system and tells me when my car tires are getting low?  Or that the power sensor on my furnace blower tells me when the power usage is climbing indicating it's time to change a filter?

Beyond that, I have some lights that aren't on timers, they come on relative to sunset.  I live far enough north that's a big difference between summer and winter.

Home automation is a lot of fun, and while it's a bit of an effort to do it without selling yourself to Jeff or Pooh, it can be done.
 
2022-08-16 7:09:34 PM  
I've been in I.T. for over 20 years, I love technology but the smartest thing in my home is and will continue to be my wife.
 
2022-08-16 8:26:59 PM  

Dinjiin: [Fark user image 480x260]


The only secure system is the one disconnected from power, wrapped in Faraday cage and buried under 5 meters of concrete.

Sign "Beware of leopard" on top of it is optional.
 
TWX
2022-08-16 10:33:17 PM  

TheCableGuy: I've been in I.T. for over 20 years, I love technology but the smartest thing in my home is and will continue to be my wife.


She was standing behind you when you wrote this wasn't she?
 
2022-08-17 7:04:55 PM  

lizaardvark: I can't see any real programmer being afraid of technology. It's you guys who don't know how to use it that are the problem, picking up malware at some random porn or gambling site.


Cases like this are why I never fully trust tech.
 
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