Monday, February 25, 2013

App connected homes - what could go wrong

The SFGate has a piece about the future home being connected with one's personal mobile device. [SmartThings puts Internet to work at home]. One of the simple examples is the ability to answer the front door when not at home. It also talks about other 'benefits' that were once tried by Sears, many decades ago, where timers would start your coffee or other devices that plugged into the house AC. But now Cisco and Microsoft have added items like sensors (might determine when to turn on the lights or sprinklers) apparently all monitored and controlled via the Internet and presumably available at some cost to the user.

But if you can monitor and control it via a smartphone, tablet, of some other sort of mobile device - so can others. There is hardly any prevention against hacking. While one might believe that an automated house has benefits, it adds too the ability to track an individual. Any time a mobile device is on and used tracking is enabled, and it shouldn't be difficult to determine one's mobile location and the location of the house.

A great TV show Person of Interest depicts surveillance abilities that are not some abstract, fanciful scriptwriter's concepts. Much of the surveillance abilities are individually available today, although maybe not tied together through some single source as shown on the show. But the marketplace continues to fill in any gaps in the connection.

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