Digital Evolution, Digital World

What happens when smart devices record a crime?

What happens when smart devices record a crime?
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Smart Devices

With the emergence of increasingly smart products like Amazon’s new Echo Look camera, our home is becoming a monitoring observatory in which services record and listen to each and every one of our movements.

This subject is explored by artist Luke Munn through Monitor, a science fiction story based on real events that took place in Arkansas, United States, where one person died in a shower of hot water all while listening to a notification from Amazon Echo. 

Smart Device

Mann’s fictional storyline unfolds in a pseudo desktop environment, in the middle of the page, where the user can watch the time go by throughout the night. On the right side you can see updates of smart devices such as Amazon Echo, Nest’s thermostat, Perfect Drink, which is a smart bartending system, in addition to Balboa Worldwipe App, which is a monitor for hot tubs.

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Munn developed this project after Arkansas authorities asked Amazon to share Echo’s data from a client in connection with a real-life murder investigation. While the application was rejected, this fictional story assumes that it was accepted, using notifications from a smart home to extrapolate one-night events. Doing so also explores the data objects have and how they can be used or abused.

Ultimately, the most worrying thing about surveillance in smart homes is not that large technology corporations supply data regularly to the authorities, but all these companies are looking to identify and predict our future needs as well.

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Therefore, it is quite feasible for Amazon to detect or even anticipate a murder that happens in a smart home. If so, the question arises as far as we as clients waive our right to privacy. Moreover, when all these intelligent systems often summarize in a vague way, the data of a real event.

In other words, what happens to those who are falsely accused when the devices collect a great deal of information and circumstantial evidence. While there is no conclusive answer to all these aspects, security experts recommend uninstalling these smart systems as the Amazon Echo case and avoiding problems, including the loss of privacy. 

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