By Michaela Carrieri

With new technology comes new challenges. Currently people are adapting in their home new devices like Alexa and Google Home to play music, book dates on a calendar, google search something etc. but what people do not know is that people can be using these devices to look in on homes. Many hackers use these devices to find out confidential information like social security numbers, bank accounts and passcodes. But, the main issue with hacking into these devices is that it is a lot easier than people thought.

Smart devices are extremely vulnerable to hacking because even a laser pointer can hack into a device and be instructed to do a command. In an experiment to see if lasers are an effective hacking device, a researcher pointed a laser at a voice assistant that was connected to a garage door and opened the door. Opening a garage door was just the start, researchers were also able to open a front door, turn lights off and on and even completed an online purchase with a single laser pointer. Other than laser pointers, general hacking creates difficulties with smart devices as well. A Security Research Lab found it was possible to change commands on a smart device to trigger the response the lab wanted from the device. Others used the recordings from the devices for criminal trails. With all these ways to hack into a smart device it makes it difficult to believe someone’s personal data and what is said within their homes can be protected.

The growth of these hacking concerns on smart devices brings up the Bill of Rights, specifically the 4th Amendment. The 4th Amendment was designed to allow people to feel comfortable within their homes without being concerned of unwarranted searches and seizures. If the 4th Amendment is thought of as a broad concept, then hackers can search people’s households without a proper warrant and legal means to do so. This is one of the many reasons why the 4th Amendment was created; to allow a person to feel safe within their home from any unwanting intrusion of their privacy. Considering how easily smart devices can be hacked in numerous ways can allow people to hear, see and potentially get into anything in a person’s home.

Smart devices can be very helpful for day to day activities. However, until companies, which create these smart devices, begin to implement stronger forcefields to make hacking harder, everyone should stop using these devices. Some people might think this whole situation is a hoax. That a hacker is unable to hack into their smart devices. However, if it is possible for a person to lose their information due to their smart device, then I think people should take this seriously. A person could possibly have their identity stolen, or their homes broken into. What is more concerning is that there is an increase of news regarding how easy it is to hack into these devices and not enough news stating what companies are doing and how they are putting valuable time and effort to fix this growing problem. There is no sense of safety even in one’s home because of the way these devices can listen, see and manipulate commands.

Because there is an easy way to hack into smart devices, there are only two logical ways to fix this security issue. First, companies that own these devices need to either recall these items and create a stronger code to prevent hackers from easily hacking into smart devices or companies should create an update for the smart devices with a stronger code to fix this issue. Second, if companies are not willing to handle, most likely losses and correct this issue, then the government should construct new rules and regulations specifically for any company which creates smart devices. Furthermore, the government should focus on having a more secured device based off of the 4th Amendment. If the companies do not comply with the government, then there will be necessary repercussions because the safety of the public should be a top priority. How easy it is to find out what people say in their home and their confidential information needs to come to an end.

Student Bio: Michaela Carrieri is in her second year at Suffolk University of Law School. She is an active member of the Journal of High Technology. She went to her undergraduate school at High Point University in North Carolina and studied International Business and Italian. She now resides in her home state of Massachusetts.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog are the views of the author alone and do not represent the views of JHTL or Suffolk University Law School.


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