Your Smart Coffee Machine Knows What You Did Last Summer: A Legal Analysis of the Limitations of Traditional Privacy of the Home under Dutch Law in the Era of Smart Technology

Today, the Internet has become one of our prime platforms for communication and consumption. Moving beyond the personal computer or smartphones only, increasingly other devices are being connected to the Internet, from coffee machines and watches to beds and toys.[1] Our homes and our activities in the home are thus becoming more and more transparent, due to such objects entering our homes. Through these objects, new forms of spying can be conducted, both qualitatively and quantitatively,[2] that are more invasive than any spying taking place by physically entering and searching the home today.[3] While the rapidly advancing development of the smart(er) home is both undeniably exciting and promising,[4] it is accompanied by a great deal of inadequately answered or otherwise unanswered questions that seem unable to slow its development down enough for us to properly address them.[5] Potential problems arise from many uncertainties regarding these technologies. For instance, where do the digital perimeters of the protected home end?[6] How will privacy be protected, and from whom? Or, in light of the rise of autonomous technological objects, should we start asking from what? Even though it is not possible to properly address and find an answer to these questions in the limited size of this paper, if at all at the present time, these questions are important to raise and consider for the protection of privacy in an increasingly smart(er) world”.


Reference:  van Dongen, L. & Timan, T. (2017). Your Smart Coffee Machine Knows What You Did Last Summer: A Legal Analysis of the Limitations of Traditional Privacy of the Home under Dutch Law in the Era of Smart Technology. Scripted, Volume 14, issue 2, pp. 208-238



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