Convenience. Americans pay for convenience and today’s “smart” devices, wired to the Internet, provide convenience in spades.

While Internet service is pretty good, there’s always a chance it could fail, crippling “smart” devices. They also come with a darker side that most people don’t contemplate, in that companies or unauthorized users may take control of these “smart” devices, locking out end users.

Certainly most folks will dismiss that scenario. “Those things won’t happen to me.”

Does that sound familiar? Some folks think the same about crime too.

“It won’t happen to me.”

Brandon Jackson used to love his smart house in Baltimore. That is until an Amazon delivery driver reported to his bosses that someone at Jackson’s residence allegedly hurled a racial slur at the driver.

How did Amazon respond? They locked Jackson out of his Amazon account – and more importantly, his control to all “smart devices” installed throughout the house.

While an inability to remotely control kitchen appliances, thermostats or lights is annoying, locking a homeowner out of his house by disabling the garage door opener and the smart locks securing the home is quite another.

Amazon determined the allegation against Jackson to be unfounded, but that didn’t help Jackson during the week-long lock-out.

Amazon restored Jackson’s service on May 31st. It left him re-evaluating his “relationship” with Amazon. The fact that he didn’t completely divorce himself from all things Amazon during the dispute speaks volumes for Jackson’s tolerance for abuse from Big Tech.

Consider for a moment that his alleged transgression involved hurling a racial epitaph. But what happens if something else became tomorrow’s wrongthink? Perhaps supporting the wrong political candidate or cause? Maybe you publicly oppose transgenderism, vaccine mandates or DEI. Or maybe you’re the next Kyle Rittenhouse and you perforate several criminals, angering the Left’s woke mob in America. What happens then?

There’s already precedent for “deplatforming” services for wrongthink far beyond Facebook time-outs. Remember the trucker’s protest in Canada in 2022? Canada’s government froze the bank accounts of participants as well as those who donated to the charity set up to help participants.

It’s not just in Canada. We’ve seen big banks abruptly cancel gun store and manufacturer bank accounts and reduce or eliminate their lines of credit arbitrarily and without recourse. That’s happened right here in Illinois countless times. Doubt it? Ask Robert Bevis from Law Weapons in Naperville.

We’ve also watched as donor info from divisive online fundraisers get used to wreck peoples’ lives. Remember the Norfolk, VA police lieutenant fired over a $25 donation to the Kyle Rittenhouse legal defense online fundraiser?

What happens if when supporting gun rights becomes tomorrow’s wrongthink?  Or the recreational use of firearms or maybe gun purchases?  Or worse yet, using a gun in self-defense!

Corporations have a lot fewer guardrails on what they can and can’t do to individual Americans than does government.

While smart devices offer lots of conveniences, they also tether their owners to Big Tech even more than before. Most folks don’t think about this potential downside to so-called “smart” stuff. Until something happens to them.

Independent living
Many homeowners don’t want an Alexa listening to their private conversations inside the home. They don’t want Amazon or any other unauthorized users blocking them from using their garage door opener or front door lock for any reason, real or imagined.

Take a moment to think about the potential downside before pulling the trigger on a “smart device” over a traditional device the next time you’re out shopping. Sometimes a “dumb” device is a smart choice.

By the way, Amazon’s looking to offer free or low cost cell phone service soon. Does this make you eager to sign up for their “free” phone when it becomes available?

4 thoughts on “‘Smart’ home devices carry risks”
  1. Don’t have “smart” phone, don’t want one, don’t access internet with phone, my “flip phone” screen too small to bother with that crp, I use phone for conversation and text, period. Don’t want “smart” devices, don’t trust access by unwanted individuals, call me “old fashoned”, I don’t care.

  2. Smart phones on thw whole are a net positive to my life 99% of the time. Other “smart” stuff has the potential for making life very difficult. I am not giving apple or amazon that kind of of power to wreck my life.

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