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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  
•       •       •

1754 clicks; posted to Main » on 16 Aug 2022 at 9:05 AM (16 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



Voting Results (Smartest)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

 
2022-08-16 7:36:41 AM  
57 votes:
pbs.twimg.comView Full Size
 
2022-08-16 8:45:09 AM  
31 votes:
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.
 
2022-08-16 9:23:53 AM  
28 votes:

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.


Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-08-16 10:31:36 AM  
15 votes:
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-08-16 9:11:55 AM  
12 votes:
I sleep better at night with my ring doorbell. Finally found out what was turning on the security lights at night and it was another black cat. I might adopt if he comes by again.
 
2022-08-16 9:39:28 AM  
10 votes:
Your reminder that Roombas make a map of your home and upload that data, and that Amazon now owns Roomba.

Yay capitalism. So much freedom.
 
2022-08-16 9:16:40 AM  
9 votes:
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.
 
2022-08-16 9:35:17 AM  
8 votes:
Smart devices are yet another example of a solution in search of a problem.
 
2022-08-16 10:04:17 AM  
8 votes:
Our house had a "smart" thermostat when we moved in. It may have been connected, but a total failure as a thermostat.  Took an HVAC tech three hours to figure out our heat pump was fine, but the thermostat couldn't do anything except run the emergency backup heaters. We now have an unconnected, programmable thermostat that runs the heat pump properly.

The prior owners left a box of blueprints and an identical "smart" thermostat that had also failed. The heat pump was installed in 2016, so two failures in four years. I guess that's smart if you are selling "smart" thermostats.

38 years in IT and I saw many companies come and go, so I use as old and low a tech as it takes to get the actual job done, like mechanical locks on my doors, wired security cameras, etc.
 
2022-08-16 10:17:22 AM  
8 votes:

Chief Superintendent Lookout: Smart devices are yet another example of a solution in search of a problem.


As an appliance repair tech: hard agree. Internet connected appliances have no performance advantage, but do have yet another expensive failure point. To say nothing monitoring of your home and habits in order to create increasingly sophisticated marketing.
 
2022-08-16 9:51:54 AM  
7 votes:

LowbrowDeluxe: I Ate Shergar: [pbs.twimg.com image 850x850]

You missed a panel:

[external-preview.redd.it image 850x637]
People in this thread:  The government cares about my pancake recipe.


The government's interest troubles me less than industry. I resent having become a product when I purchase a product.
 
2022-08-16 9:08:51 AM  
6 votes:

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.



I have almost no idea what you said. So I think I'm good.
 
2022-08-16 9:14:10 AM  
6 votes:
To be honest smart stuff helps the elderly and I use it to help my dad out he can turn on the lights, tv turn down the heat or turn on the AC at a distance or if he forgets i can do it from my phone or PC.
 
2022-08-16 9:35:13 AM  
6 votes:
Keep your IoT shiat off the interwebs or on its own subnet if you can't.

/Vizio was caught mining and selling data, IIRC
//adversaries wants your smart TV and IoT data
//cleared fed, military, contractors especially
////fours?
 
2022-08-16 9:15:39 AM  
5 votes:
I'm boring and not up to no good, but I hate all the advertising aggregation tracking so I have none of that smart stuff and most things disabled on my phone. Ads removed. Plus I'm in another country or state thanks to proxy software.
 
2022-08-16 11:34:14 AM  
5 votes:
Nothing more convenient in this day & age than having to update the software on your oven.

/no smart devices in this house
 
2022-08-16 12:35:16 PM  
5 votes:

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 10:20:45 AM  
4 votes:

Nogale: Yeah, I don't understand why people need to have app-controlled coffeemakers.


https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2020/09/how-a-hacker-turned-a-250-coffee-maker-into-ransom-machine/

What a hacked coffee machine looks like.
Youtube bJrIh94RSiI
 
2022-08-16 10:31:01 AM  
4 votes:

DanInKansas: Chief Superintendent Lookout: Smart devices are yet another example of a solution in search of a problem.

As an appliance repair tech: hard agree. Internet connected appliances have no performance advantage, but do have yet another expensive failure point. To say nothing monitoring of your home and habits in order to create increasingly sophisticated marketing.


As an engineer I also agree. I bought a window AC unit for my garage and was surprised at how many of those are now "smart." I've even seen smart ceiling fans. My smart security system is a couple of large dogs. They know my floor plan very well and they might watch what I do when I'm home alone but they don't tell anyone about it.
 
2022-08-16 10:40:40 AM  
4 votes:

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 imageView Full Size


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.
 
2022-08-16 9:13:18 AM  
3 votes:
I deliberately things like my Samsung TV a false gateway address (1.1.1.1).
=
 
2022-08-16 9:51:08 AM  
3 votes:
Yeah, I don't understand why people need to have app-controlled coffeemakers. Lights and things can be set by a simple timer.
 
2022-08-16 9:58:18 AM  
3 votes:
I have a gov't job that uses almost exclusively non-public FOIA exempt information.

Largely telework still, We've been directed by our IT Security team not to operate a smart device within range of any virtual conversations or meetings.

I don't know of any coworker who even has a device (including me), so NBD from my vantage point.
 
2022-08-16 10:07:44 AM  
3 votes:
Yall sitting here talking all that shiat, but when a smart fleshlight hits the market, you'll be be first in line.
 
2022-08-16 10:08:13 AM  
3 votes:
Have no desire to have any smart device in our house.  When we had a new HVAC system installed in our previous house, we specified a non-smart thermostat.  They installed the smart version anyway, and I wouldn't sign off on the installation until they removed it and installed a non-smart version.  Installer wasn't happy because he had to drive ~40 miles round trip to go back into town and get a different one.  Life's rough all over.
 
2022-08-16 10:19:40 AM  
3 votes:

drjekel_mrhyde: Yall sitting here talking all that shiat, but when a smart fleshlight hits the market, you'll be be first in line.


Doubtful. Anything smart would reject them.
 
TWX
2022-08-16 10:52:22 AM  
3 votes:

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.


Fundamentally it comes down to the software control point for the device and the software obsolescence versus the actual end of useful life for the device.

One should be skeptical of devices that advertise as being for consumers or especially consumer-friendly.  That usually means that they're tied-in with some kind of proprietary Internet-based service, or they're dependent on some local program that once one loses the ability to run, the device is less useful.

I've been doing this for long enough that I had to migrate from the Palm platform to Android.  There wasn't much in the way of functionality loss for me but if I'd had something dependent on Palm, like how a friend of ours was building his PhD thesis on autonomous, noncommunicating machine swarms and used Palm as his platform for his work, I'd have been in deep trouble.

I tend to prefer industrial or commercial equipment instead of 'internet of things' equipment.  Most industrial/commercial stuff uses industry-standard protocols, the device is not so tightly wedded to its control program that it's impossible to change to a different control program.  But admittedly that's usually harder to do, and even with that having historically been the norms, vendors are attempting to change to a walled-garden approach there too, requiring licensing based on fee schedules for new stuff rather than one-time purchase models.

The future on this looks pretty bleak unfortunately.  This means a lot of waste is going to be generated in the form of equipment with useful service life remaining that can't be used because manufacturers won't let it be used.
 
2022-08-16 11:11:10 AM  
3 votes:

cryinoutloud: Lots of people would like to spend their days in an opium den while a young girl sucks their dicks.


Well... I mean... yeah...
 
2022-08-16 11:38:36 AM  
3 votes:
Remember, folks: the "S" in "IoT" stands for "Security"
 
2022-08-16 9:06:25 AM  
2 votes:
That's why I stick with binoculars.
 
2022-08-16 9:24:23 AM  
2 votes:

I Ate Shergar: [pbs.twimg.com image 850x850]


You missed a panel:

external-preview.redd.itView Full Size

People in this thread:  The government cares about my pancake recipe.
 
2022-08-16 9:36:03 AM  
2 votes:
If you attend my TED Talk, you'd know about my foolproof solution: Providing fake data to smart devices. For example, at my website, I sell ambient audio recordings of families of different sizes to fool your devices into thinking that your family is smaller or larger than it really is.
 
2022-08-16 9:37:13 AM  
2 votes:

Cafe Threads: 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.

[Fark user image 425x520]


That.

And the biggest issue I have is my information being sold to others so I can be advertised to.  But that will happen no matter what unless you take the utmost precautions.

I use the Kasa Smart (TP-Link) devices - no hub required and easily shared and tied to the Alexa/Echo and their MAC addresses are *easily* retrievable (most devices have it on the device itself or you bluetooth connect and it shows up clearly).  They are a big enough company that they will either hang around for a while or be bought by someone else and they don't seem to be "obsoleting" their devices - the oldest still work fine.
 
2022-08-16 9:43:04 AM  
2 votes:
Since we keep a regular schedule we have been using "smart" devices for years.  They are called timers.  Sure, we have to change the clock on them twice a year.  We also have to change the time on for the lamps a few times a year, but it is very convenient, and easy to use.  Set the time, set the time on, plug in the lamp.
 
2022-08-16 10:51:19 AM  
2 votes:

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.


Cool rant.
 
2022-08-16 2:30:33 PM  
2 votes:
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 7:09:34 PM  
2 votes:
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 9:22:58 AM  
1 vote:
Also-- don't ride in a car.
 
2022-08-16 9:31:14 AM  
1 vote:

alice_600: To be honest smart stuff helps the elderly and I use it to help my dad out he can turn on the lights, tv turn down the heat or turn on the AC at a distance or if he forgets i can do it from my phone or PC.


Have you tried the new version?

Amazon Echo - SNL
Youtube YvT_gqs5ETk
 
2022-08-16 10:12:47 AM  
1 vote:

drjekel_mrhyde: Yall sitting here talking all that shiat, but when a smart fleshlight hits the market, you'll be be first in line.


We're getting there...
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-08-16 10:48:49 AM  
1 vote:
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?
 
TWX
2022-08-16 10:55:53 AM  
1 vote:

Dinjiin: [Fark user image 480x260]


I resemble this.  I'm still rockin' the HP LaserJet 2100.  My printer debuted in February 1999.  It could probably stand a memory upgrade as it tends to choke on the largest print jobs but it still produces quality output and I keep finding toner cartridges for it at thrift stores, new in box.

It'll probably have to be retired either when I can't keep the paper-pickup and -handling rollers working reliably anymore, or when I have to reconfigure it and the JetDirect card, which uses Java for the web interface, no longer can be worked with.
 
2022-08-16 11:38:51 AM  
1 vote:
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 11:43:37 AM  
1 vote:

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 11:58:20 AM  
1 vote:
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 5:01:10 PM  
1 vote:

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  
1 vote:

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
 
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