Now that the internet has taken over our lives, suddenly there is a great deal of concern about having cameras in every corner of the house. And recent incidents show that, in some cases, it’s probably right to worry. We’ve found that makers of smart home gadgets and software are mismanaging some of their users’ personal data and photos, and we’re skeptical. Is there anything we can actually do to make these types of incidents less likely?
As much as you rely on cloud-connected smart home gadgets, you’re going to rely on the companies that manufacture them to make sure no one sees you when you’re using the toilet. You can take steps to protect your home from possible violations.
Is this really a serious problem?
Statistically, you shouldn’t have a problem with people snooping on your private photos, but several recent incidents have brought the issue into the limelight and raised concerns.
For starters, a number of security vulnerabilities in Eufy cameras have recently surfaced. Smart cameras upload video thumbnails and facial recognition data to the cloud, regardless of whether they actually use Eufy’s cloud service. This followed another controversy in 2021 in which some owners of Eufy cameras were strangely able to access live video feeds and recordings from other households.
In an old incident dating back to 2020, several freelance workers in Venezuela caused controversy online after uploading several images snapped by a Roomba J7 robotic vacuum cleaner. These images were provided to his Scale AI, the startup these people worked for. The images, which were meant to be labeled for training artificial intelligence, found their way onto the internet.
While it’s highly unlikely that someone will be watching you while you’re using the restroom, the fact that very few people have been affected by such incidents may be reason enough to be a little concerned. So what can you do to prevent this from happening?
1. Opt for non-cloud solutions
Most, if not all, incidents are related to breaches of video stored in the cloud. So one of the surest ways to prevent this kind of thing from happening is to prevent data from reaching the cloud in the first place. In other words, if you want to install a few smart cameras around your home, you’ll need to look for non-cloud solutions that offer local storage.
Many options on our list of the best smart security cameras come with local storage instead of cloud storage.It’s as easy as slipping a memory card inside. So you don’t have to worry about your live video feed being streamed over the internet. It’s not completely bulletproof as long as it’s connected to the internet — see what happened with the Eufy camera — but this kind of setup easily reduces the chances of your data being compromised.
2. Consider a smart camera with a privacy shutter
There are plenty of smart gadgets out there with lots of extra features to help put your mind at ease. Privacy shutters aren’t ubiquitous, but smart cameras allow you to physically hide your camera whenever you don’t want it to see you. can be effectively blocked. If you have similar concerns about smart cameras because this is a feature that many laptop webcams have, but still want the convenience of a smart camera, be sure to get a device with a privacy shutter. Get it.
The best smart security cameras list doesn’t have specific recommendations for cameras with privacy shutters, but they do exist. Buy one (or more).
3. Examine a brand’s privacy reputation
If you don’t want to be completely paranoid, it might be worth researching a particular brand to see how well it does or doesn’t do as far as privacy is concerned. to see if there are past incidents related to it and what its commitment to user privacy looks like. .
A search of Eufy’s and iRobot’s privacy records reveals information about the aforementioned incident. Whatever brand of security camera you buy, you need to make sure it has handled user data correctly in the past and is indeed continuing this effort. To ensure an informed purchase, you need to do your research.
4. Do not install security cameras
Probably the most radical option, but the only option that’s guaranteed to work perfectly is not to explore the idea of getting a smart camera. Do not bring your camera to
Smart cameras make life easier, but sadly, if you choose to store your personal data in the cloud, it can be hacked. After all, you’ve probably seen recent incidents in the news about security and data breaches at many online services like Uber and LastPass.
We would argue that the chances of a breach affecting you are extremely low, and despite the occasional breach, it’s perfectly safe to use a smart camera. Even if there is a breach, the amount alone will be enough, as it will only affect people. The odds are in your favor, so there’s probably nothing we can say to you to allay your concerns.
Make sure your privacy is protected the next time you buy a smart camera
If you want to shoot smart security cameras in your home or office while maintaining as much privacy as possible, consider the tips above to ensure the most privacy-conscious approach.