How Smart is Too Smart?


Zakk Spencer

So many devices, so much power.

E-Commerce and technology is often a battlefront of savviness and convenience. From cameras that can track every movement detected, to same-day delivery options, and even music playing toilets- you name it- it seems that everything and anything is available to mankind. As technology keeps advancing in this electronic era, personal and private information is becoming increasingly harder to conceal from big corporate companies. Cookies, privacy agreements written in 2 pt. font, and hackers all make our valuable electronics keys to danger.

Stores and online retailers often offer their customers one or two-day delivery options. However, goods being left on the front porch are left unshielded from porch thieves. So, to come up with a solution for this, Amazon and Walmart, two of the largest retailers in the United States, have offered to deposit your packages indoors and drop off your groceries inside of your fridge. In order to help calm any fear that consumers have regarding what delivery people might do inside of their homes, both companies allow the entire “drop and go” process to be recorded.

But- there’s more to it. The companies get to hang on to the videos too, and privacy experts say this may be dangerous for the consumers. These dangers include the release of home footage to hackers or people online.

Another big game player in the security field is cameras. I personally have the Amazon CloudCam- camera systems that run through your Amazon Account, and the Ring DoorBell used to record front door activity. Both are connected to your cell phone and can be used to communicate with at any time. However, according to the LA Times, Ring partnered with law enforcement agencies that could expose customers by hacking into the doorbell itself. Reports say hackers broke into Ring products, looked in at children sitting in their homes, and yelled at people through the cameras.

Even smart refrigerators are vulnerable to attacks. Smart fridges run through the same Wi-Fi as the building they are in, and “login information [for any accounts] could be used in other places” by hackers (LifeWire).

CNN claims that Alexa is listening to you and your conversations at all times, and “an Amazon employee is potentially listening, too.” Amazon also keeps a copy of “everything Alexa records after it hears its name.” Information such as audios of important conversations are also in danger of being sold to outsiders.

So are all of these “savvy” products really worth it? Your trusted Alexa may be eavesdropping on you. Your camera might be hacked. How much trust can we really entrust into our “trusty” smart devices after all?