Here’s How Smart Home Devices Are Becoming Tools of Domestic Abuse

By Nitish Singh / June 25, 2018

Smart home devices are making it into homes across the world, and it also brings with it its fair share of misuse. New York Times conducted over thirty interviews which revealed that smart devices like thermostats, smart speakers, and other devices are slowly becoming tools of domestic abuse. One of the most commonly abused smart home devices is a surveillance camera. Many users install cameras for security purposes, but they can also be misused to monitor partners or ex-partners continuously.

The study revealed that most domestic abuse victims who are at the receiving end of misuse of smart home devices feel there is a reluctance among victims to discuss the issue. The attackers often tend to play loud music through smart speakers or increase thermostat temperatures to make their partners feel uncomfortable in their homes.

Lawyers, shelter workers, and victims have spoken out against the abuse using smart home devices and feel it is slowly becoming a major problem. Director of Safety Net Project Erica Olsen who works at the National Network to End Domestic Violence revealed that the organization has been aware of the abuse using smart home devices, but the issue did not become prevalent until now to bring up the discussion.

Men and women can both be at the receiving end of such abuse, but the misuse is mostly affected, women. With men installing most smart devices and having access to the apps that control them, it becomes difficult for victims to avoid instances of abuse. Laws surrounding the use of technology for domestic abuse is also lagging behind, making it difficult for victims to seek legal assistance.

What do you think of the negative impact of smart home devices? Let us know in the comments below. Get instant updates on TechNadu’s Facebook page, or Twitter handle.

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