Smart appliances may be too smart for our own good. Take smart TVs, for instance. As this article illustrates some of these new appliances are particularly vulnerable to hackers. Once compromised, the TVs allow access to account information, including login credentials (which owners may use for access to more than just their smart-TV account). Even scarier, hackers could gain access to front-facing cameras to see everything happening in the room where the TV is connected. Instead of you watching your favorite program, criminals may be watching you! This may also apply to games consoles with webcams, laptops and security cameras.
Once the machine is compromised, hackers can stealthily activate its front-facing camera (available on higher-end smart TVs), hijack a user account, steal credentials by presenting fake login pages and infect other applications on the TV with malware.
Big data refers to all the massive amounts of information collected from our TV's, mobile devices, cars, appliances, even our clothes! and how those pieces of data can be compiled to create new information. Maybe having our refrigerator sending a ‘pick up milk' message to our cell phones while we are grocery shopping is a good thing. Maybe not.
Here are some more resources for you to explore how smart you think our appliances should be:
Privacy for Everyone: Closing the Gap Between the Privacy-Have's and the Privacy Have-Nots Address by Patricia Kosseim, Senior General Counsel and Director General, Legal Services, Policy and Research Branch, (June 2014)
Rebecca Herold (a.k.a. The Privacy Professor) for more tips.
‘Technocreep' author says new technologies have been invading our privacy like never before , CBC interview, The Current with Anna Maria Tremonti and Tom Keenan
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