Smart Homes and Privacy

Smart Homes and Privacy

One question that comes up time and time again lately - are my smart home products watching or listening to me?  While the technology that has come into our homes is concerning, your privacy rights are largely intact.  Can you imagine the lawsuits that an Amazon or Google would need to handle if these devices were being abused?

Nevertheless at Level Up Your Home we get questions from our customers like, can I turn off Amazon Alexa so that she is not listening for her “wake” word? Yes, you can.  Tap the mute button on top of the Alexa.   Your music (if you have it on) will continue to play but the product will no longer be listening and the “wake” work will not respond.  This feature when turned on, is visually represented by a red circle on your device.

What about Google Home?  You can easily turn active listening off by turning off the “OK Google” detection in the App.  Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy as my kids like to say.

By and large, while we need to keep an eye on privacy - smart home technology helps make you safe.  It adds immediate access to your home visually from anywhere in the world. Its home control capabilities are outstanding allowing you to turn on lights, and set up security “scenes”  that automatically work many devices at once to create the appearance you are home (imagine your music starts blasting at fully volume at the detection of an intruder).  

We have a recent real life recent example from one of our customers - did you know that Video Doorbells can help you catch thiefs?  Here is a customer who caught a thief stealing his video doorbell.  We have since engineered a uniqe way to secure it to his home so this doesn’t happen again. The serial number was then provided to our partners at Ring Video Doorbell and local police for follow up.

Ring Video Door Bell


Interested in a Smart Home Consultation?  For our readers use the code Privacy at checkout and get a free home consultation complete with a personalized recommendation on which products are right for you, a $79 value.  No obligations, just information and we hope to earn your business.  


  • Ben Hobbs

    Privacy will be an important point going forward, there have already been a number of cases in the USA where smart home systems have helped convict or arrest criminals. Many of these home automation systems keep records of various events – is it something to fear? I’m not sure, perhaps it’s something that could prove your innocence or help catch say a thief that has burgled your home.

  • James

    I think that as the numbers of people who buy smart devices increases, this issue will become increasingly important. I think that you are right. It is important that a sensible balance is struck. That there are privacy issues that need to be considered when you use your smart device but by and large they can be dealt with easily enough. I think what does not not help this issue is that the popular press like to exaggerate the dangers!

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