Today we learned of a gentleman who has apparently turned his home into one of the so-called “smart homes” via a selection of Amazon’s “smart” devices.
Near as I can tell he had purchased these devices, and he owned them free and clear.
Over the Memorial Day weekend Amazon shut down his house.
The facts that we get from him — I can’t find where Amazon has answered the allegations yet, they probably should — is that an Amazon delivery driver who was wearing headphones though that the gentleman’s automated video doorbell called him a racial slur.
The driver reported this to Amazon, and with absolutely no investigation Amazon shut down all the “smart” devices that Amazon had a connection to in the “smart home”; as well as shutting down his Amazon account. Since his Amazon Echo devices were apparently the only means this gentleman had to interface with his “smart home”.
Amazon unilaterally shut down devices he owned, which controlled a home he owned, based on a single-point complaint from 25 MAY 23 until their “investigation” was completed on 31 MAY 23.
I can see situations where having a “smart home” controlled by your voice would be necessary, or useful, but I’ll have no truck with that sort of thing.
Not when a faceless mega-corp can unilaterally decide to shut off your personally-owned devices, based on a verbal complaint of you being naughty.
If you think this is bad, wait until the FedGov decides they like “smart homes”. Given the alleged shut-down capabilities of the next generation of vehicles — where you have to prove you’re not drunk before you will be allowed to start your vehicle — and given the abundant evidence of how far the FedGov and various State governments are willing to trash your civil rights in the name of “safety”, we may very well look back on the days of Amazon shutting down your home with fondness.