Household

06 May 2019
Absher, an online platform and mobile phone app created by the Saudi Arabian government, can allow men to restrict women’s ability to travel, live in Saudi Arabia, or access government services. This app, which is available in the Google and Apple app stores, supports and enables the discriminatory
23 Aug 2018
In August 2018, domestic abuse victims, their lawyers, shelter workers, and emergency responders began finding that the Internet of Things was becoming an alarming new tool for harassment, monitoring, revenge, and control. Smartphone apps enable abusers to remotely control everyday objects inside
01 Aug 2018
By August 2018, the UK government's "hostile environment" policy, as set out in the 2014 and 2016 Immigration Acts and other measures, was extending the national border into the heart of services such as banking, education, health, and housing where landlords and staff have been forced to implement
Reporter Kashmir Hill tested life in a smart home by adding numerous connected devices. The self-heating bed gave her daily reports on whether she'd reached her "sleep goal". She liked the convenience of the voice-activated lights, coffee maker, and music, the ability to convey a message to a
28 Dec 2017
In 2016, the US Federal Trade Coimmission issued a warning to app developers that had installed Silverpush, software that uses device microphones to listen for audio signals inaudible to the human ear that identify the television programmes they are watching. Nonetheless, similar technology
30 Nov 2017
A report for the US National Academy of Sciences explains the methods used by a team of computer scientists to derive accurate, neighbourhood-level estimates of the racial, economic, and political characteristics of 200 US cities using the images collected by Google Street View in 2013 and 2014. The
21 Aug 2017
Sonos, which makes connected home sound systems, has told its customers that they will not be able to opt out of a new privacy policy launched in August 2017 that allows the company to begin collecting audio settings, errors, and other account data. Customers can opt out of sending some types of
A report from the University of Washington studies parents' and children's interactions with general-purpose connected devices and connected toys. There are numerous privacy issues: toy companies may collect masses of children's intimate data; the toys may enable parents to spy on their children
04 Oct 2017
In 2017, after protests from children's health and privacy advocates, Mattel cancelled its planned child-focused "Aristotle" smart hub. Aristotle was designed to adapt to and learn about the child as they grew while controlling devices from night lights to homework aids. However, Aristotle was only
08 Sep 2016
The "couples vibrator" We-Vibe 4 Plus is controlled via a smartphone app connected to the device via Bluetooth. In 2016, researchers revealed at Defcon that the devices uses its internet connectivity to send information back to its manufacturer including the device's temperature, measured every
30 Oct 2015
In 2015, plans to install smart electricity meters in 95% of Austrian homes by 2019 were in doubt because of legal uncertainty about data protection, with customers trying to prevent their deployment, according to Die Presse newspaper. The idea is that smart meters will allow customers to log on and
18 May 2016
In 2016, Verbraucherzentrale NRW, a consumer protection organisation in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia accused Samsung of harvesting data and sending it back to the company over the internet without informing users as soon as its smart televisions are connected to the internet. The
24 Nov 2015
In 2015, ABI Research discovered that the power light on the front of Alphabet's Nest Cam was deceptive: even when users had used the associated app to power down the camera and the power light went off, the device continued to monitor its surroundings, noting sound, movement, and other activities
05 Apr 2016
In April 2016, Google's Nest subsidiary announced it would drop support for Revolv, a rival smart home start-up the company bought in 2014. After that, the company said, the thermostats would cease functioning entirely because they relied on connecting to a central server and had no local-only mode
02 Dec 2016
For a period between the end of October and November 3 2016 the heating and hot water systems in two buildings in the city of Lappeenranta, Finland were knocked out by a distributed denial of service attack designed to make the systems fail. The systems responded by repeatedly rebooting the main
In 2017, when user Robert Martin posted a frustrated, disparaging review of the remote garage door opening kit Garadget on Amazon, the peeved owner briefly locked him out of the company's server and told him to send the kit back. After complaints on social media and from the company's board members
A 2017 lawsuit filed by Chicagoan Kyle Zak against Bose Corp alleges that the company uses the Bose Connect app associated with its high-end Q35 wireless headphones to spy on its customers, tracking the music, podcasts, and other audio they listen to and then violates their privacy rights by selling