Maybe it would let you remotely turn off your refrigerator if you had left it on, or something.
The punch line, of course, is that companies collect all sorts of data on you using these. I've posted about this before:
Your "Smart" TV spys on you
But wait, there's more! Et tu, Barbie? Et tu?
Earlier this year Mattel unveiled "Hello Barbie," a $74.99 wi-fi equipped interactive doll. Users press a button on Barbie's belt to start a conversation and the recorded audio is processed over the internet so that the doll can respond appropriately. The doll also remembers the user's likes and dislikes.Fortunately, the Black Hat hackers have a demonstrated track record of being respectful to those they hack. Wh00t!
Now Security Researcher Matt Jakubowski claims that he has managed to hack the Hello Barbie system to extract wi-fi network names, account IDs and MP3 files, which could be used to track down someone's home. "You can take that information and find out a person's house or business. It's just a matter of time until we are able to replace their servers with ours and have her say anything we want," Jakubowski warned.
And it must be said: who ever would have seen this coming?
But wait - there's more! Internet ads listen to you:
SilverPush is an Indian startup that's trying to figure out all the different computing devices you own. It embeds inaudible sounds into the webpages you read and the television commercials you watch.Actually, you probably can stop this, but you'd have to use a desktop computer, unplug the built-in speaker, and make sure you haven't got a microphone plugged into the mic jack. In other words, use 1990s technology.
Your computerized things are talking about you behind your back, and for the most part you can't stop them -- or even learn what they're saying.
Remember, if you're not paying for it, you're the product.
So what do you do? Your mileage may vary, but I personally will never enable "smart" functions on things like TVs. I won't use "smart" light bulbs.
But now for full disclosure: The Queen Of The World looks like she might like her some Netflix from the TV, which means that it's on the 'net. Bah.
Short of blocking outbound Internet traffic from the TV to all but known locations, I'm not sure. That wouldn't be simple. That is a post for another day.