IOT: an aid to domestic abuse?

John Naughton in his article, featured below, is right to draw our attention to the dangers of smart home technology being misused, and particularly used to target vulnerable people, mostly women.  Actions need to be taken, including by suppliers, to protect the vulnerable.

However, the fact that smart home technology can be misused, just like any other technology, does not mean we should not adopt it.  Moreover, if used properly, it can empower the vulnerable.

For example, someone controlling your security system can monitor and harass you.  However, if control is taken out of their hands, then the security system can protect against unwelcome visitors, whether at the door or attempting to enter with a key they “forgot to give back”.

Suppliers, installers and maintainers of such systems have a duty to make it easy for vulnerable people to contact them in cases where their security systems have been hijacked by an ex-partner or other person.  As a priority they should then verify the facts and provide assistance to reset systems and return to control to the person who needs it.  Indeed they should also go out of their way to support the vulnerable as they learn to use the security systems which might be totally unfamiliar to them.

Start reading John Naughton’s article below and click on the link to the Guardian website to read it all:

Standing on a tube platform the other day, I found myself looking at a huge ad for the Nest Hello , “the doorbell you’ve been waiting for”. Apparently, “it makes other doorbells seem like dumbbells”. That’s because it “lets you know who’s there, so you never miss a thing. […]

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