Last Updated on October 22, 2020 by Christopher G Mendla
Sept 2019 – Pretty soon you won’t even be able to trust your toaster. Voice activated toilets and faucets could be used to spy on your conversations and water usage.
The problem with these connected devices is that people on the other end can listen in. For example, Microsoft was listening to Xbox conversations.
The feds used Onstar to bust some Mafia members. “Hey Bobbie, where is we gonna bury dis stiff? “
We all did hear about Samsung televisions eavesdropping on conversations. Yep, your TV was recording your conversations, phoning home, interpreting them and sending back ads based on that. It is also possible that such conversations could be sold to marketers.
So, what is the latest spy device in your home? It seems that Delta faucets can now be voice activated as well as certain Kohler toilets. The thought that your toilets and faucets could be spying on you is a little hard to grasp.
I might be old school but I don’t see any need for a voice activated toilet or faucet. “Hey Toilet, I just dropped a massive – give it an extra long flush”… or you can just flush twice if necessary.
If you talk to yourself or household members with these devices present, anyone can be listening in. Discussions about finances, marital issues, children, legal problems and any other issues can no longer be considered private.
All I need is this century old technology. IP in terms of toilets should not mean Internet Protocol.
So, what is the solution? We could do what Edward James Almos’s Commander Adama in Battlestar Galactica did and refuse to network any devices. That might be a bit drastic. On the other hand it kept the Galactica crew alive. (Yes, I know it is fiction but the point is valid)
A less drastic solution might be to as yourself “Do I really need that capability? I don’t have Alexa or any other voice operated device in my house.. Oh wait, yes I do, My android is voice operated. My Windows 10 machine has voice capability. On the other hand, I don’t have to make it even easier for evesdroppers.
There is also this legendary scene from 2001 A Space Odyssey where the super intelligent ship’s computer has been listening in on the crew. They try to have a private conversation but HAL is reading their lips. A lot of tech today is never really shut off
For more reading regarding tech and privacy, visit our privacy category. WARNING, some of the privacy issues might creep you out.
SUMMARY – As we add devices to our homes we should be aware of the fact that previously mundane items such as faucets and toilets could be spying on you. For example, many smart televisions are spying on their owners.
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