How hackers can exploit devices used at home; hacking business data more a concern, says Logan Elia, Rose Law Group attorney practicing privacy law

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.

Related: Lawmakers sound alarm over Amazon face recognition software

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.

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“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.”

~ Logan Elia

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