By B.N. Frank
Privacy and security experts have warned for many years about privacy and cybersecurity risks associated with ALL “Smart” and wireless technology – cell phones (see 1, 2, 3), medical devices and implants (see 1, 2), personal and “Smart” home devices and wearables (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6), utility “Smart” meters (electric, gas, and water), and everything that uses Internet of Things (IoT) technology (see 1, 2). Last month, researchers from Carnegie Melon University proposed product warning labels that would make it easier for consumers to understand this.
Of course, manufacturers may not be in a hurry to use them because their “Smart” products allow them to collect data on consumers to analyze and sell to 3rd parties. This is referred to as “Surveillance Capitalism.” “Smart” light bulbs can be used for this as well.
From CDN Simius:
Let’s talk about 3 ways your smart bulb is spying on you.
Wait, smart bulbs can be used for spying?
Yes, we always think it’s only hackers trying to breach our privacy and monitor our private moments. However, with these devices, the companies that operate them sometimes have ulterior motives.
Why the focus on smart bulbs? Well, most people imagine their higher fidelity smart devices (like smart assistants) have the ability to spy on them. However, they cannot believe a device like a smart bulb, that can only turn off and on, could give any usable observations to eavesdroppers. This is far from the truth.
Let’s get into the 3 ways your smart bulb is spying on you.
How smart bulbs spy on you
Bulb Telemetry (tracking when it’s turned on/off)
You turn your lights on, you turn your lights off, so what? The only data that could ever come from a smart bulb is binary and could never be useful to anyone right?