By Olivia Beavers | The Hill
As Americans increasingly fill their homes with smart technology, the risk of hackers exploiting their devices is growing.
Experts say the expanding ecosystem of internet-connected devices such as smart thermostats, home security systems and electric door locks are increasingly susceptible to hackers, including those trying to leverage voice-command devices.
This risk is further compounded if an individual stores sensitive data on certain internet-connected products, like a credit card number or mailing address, which a hacker may be able to gain access to through other connected devices.
One incident that drew particular attention this week highlighted some of the privacy fears surrounding voice-controlled devices and how they can operate seemingly independently of their owners’ intentions.
A woman in Portland, Ore., said her Amazon Echo recorded a private conversation she had with her husband and then sent an audio file of the recording to someone in the couple’s contact list.
“New technology will be used in unforeseen ways and sometimes abused. The wise should consider technology for its potential to improve our lives, but also for potential abuse. I am not particularly concerned about someone hacking my smart home, if it were smart. My home is not a fortress. Someone might breach it by hacking. But a hammer would also work. I am, however, concerned about business entities compiling massive databases of personal information which might one day be seized and abused by an unenlightened government. I hope such concern will motivate people to guard their rights, if not their data.”