There are plenty of smart devices you can buy online or in retail stores for your smart home: smart televisions, home audio speakers, fitness bands, smart watches, light switches, talking dolls and toys, smart home thermometers, cars with GPS and sensors, drones, and much more. And, your utility company probably uses smart meters to transmit via wireless your usage, instead of paying technicians to visit your home.
Many or most of these devices have hands-free voice controls. That feature provides a huge convenience, but along with it comes the privacy threat that it can (or does) record everything you say... whether you intend it for the device or not.
The Times Union highlighted several problems smart devices create for consumers. The first is the hope that the device manufacturer adequately protects your information from data breaches and thieves:
"You may never know for sure. At best, you can hope the company keeps its promises on privacy. More important, you have to trust that its computer systems are really secure, or those promises are suddenly worthless. That part is increasingly difficult to guarantee — or believe — as hacking becomes routine."
At least one fitness maker already had a substantial data breach. People want to try the new devices to see if and how they might benefit. There's nothing wrong with that. The second problem:
"Every technological benefit comes with a cost in the form of a threat to privacy. Yet not paying that price has its own cost: an inability to participate in some of technology's greater achievements."
There has to be a better way. Consumers should not have a to choose between giving up privacy in order to use smart devices versus living under a rock without smart devices to maintain privacy. What are your opinions?