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  1. #1
    Moderator chazus's Avatar
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    Should people disclose 'Smart' devices in their homes to guests?

    A number of discussions and articles have popped up recently regarding whether or not people should disclose the presence of smart devices int heir homes to guests. Things like Google Home/Nest, Amazon Echo, etc.

    The premise of the idea is that some people value their privacy a great deal, to the point of not ever having these devices. Just the same, some people don't use Google Chrome or whatever because they want to 'hide their data'. Which is FINE. To each their own. My personal opinion on data isn't important.

    That said, you probably don't know all your friends opinions on data gathering devices.

    1) Disclose presence of data devices in home to all guests, and let them decide what to do (Maybe offer to turn them off?)
    2) Assume that anyone who has a problem with these devices is taking a risk of being recorded by going out of their own house.
    3) Something else?

    Personally, I never really thought about it. I don't care about having them in my home, but never considered what other people might think while staying there.
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  2. #2
    Yes they should. It's not ethical to record people's conversations without their knowledge. Personally, i would not leave, but i´d definitely change my behaviour around observation devices.

  3. #3
    WC3 Megathreader Lilithvia's Avatar
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    I mean, if you have to disclose the use of cookies (which should have been done with from the start), you should have to disclose the use of smart home devices, which are things I will never use. It's pretty creepy to have Google Assistant randomly start recording simply because I'm watching a youtube video that doesn't agree with google's stance.
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  4. #4
    No, it's your home. If someone asks, then feel free to disclose it. When I go to someone's house with my kids, I ask if they have unlocked firearms, or if there's anywhere that my kids are not allowed to go. Of course, I know the firearm track record of every one of my close friends, because that's what people like me gossip about.

    Now, back on topic. It's their home, if they want to record me, more power to them. I have no desire to record my guests, so it's not an issue at my home.

    I assume there is I am being recorded whenever I leave my home, and go to someone else's property.
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  5. #5
    Depends on your guests really. If they are friends, they likely know what you have, if they are acquaintances and aren't going to be around your house more then occasionally, no. I'm also imagining in home security cameras and such.

  6. #6
    Never occurred to me, but then I would never buy any of these devices and so I give them zero thought. Until I experience something that puts me on guard I wouldn't worry about them, but the first negative experience and then I'd get suspicious.
    /s

  7. #7
    You pretty much relinquish all aspects of privacy when you leave your home, absent a few specific cases (cameras in bathrooms, etc.). Don't go into someone else's house if you are that paranoid.

  8. #8
    If someone doesn't like smart devices, they should ask the homeowner if there are any present. It would be similar to those who have pet allergies, they'd ask if there was a cat or dog around.
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by chazus View Post
    A number of discussions and articles have popped up recently regarding whether or not people should disclose the presence of smart devices int heir homes to guests. Things like Google Home/Nest, Amazon Echo, etc.

    The premise of the idea is that some people value their privacy a great deal, to the point of not ever having these devices. Just the same, some people don't use Google Chrome or whatever because they want to 'hide their data'. Which is FINE. To each their own. My personal opinion on data isn't important.

    That said, you probably don't know all your friends opinions on data gathering devices.

    1) Disclose presence of data devices in home to all guests, and let them decide what to do (Maybe offer to turn them off?)
    2) Assume that anyone who has a problem with these devices is taking a risk of being recorded by going out of their own house.
    3) Something else?

    Personally, I never really thought about it. I don't care about having them in my home, but never considered what other people might think while staying there.
    My step father hates them, but I don't feel the need to tell him I have them when they come visit, my house and I don't give a fuck if he or anyone else cares they are there or not.

  10. #10
    Moderator Rozz's Avatar
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    Hmmm.

    I don't think it matters much to go out of your way to disclose that information, but it would be concerning if you went out of your way to hide it. Generally when you enter someone else's home, you agree to whatever surveillance and other features they have in it. If those features make the owner comfortable/safe, it's their right to keep them on/running. If that tech causes the opposite response in yourself, you're free to leave or avoid visiting.

    The degrees of hospitality are cultural, but for me you should aim to make your guests comfortable but your home is still your home.
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  11. #11
    Nope. My Google Homes are in plain view, if you have a problem with them, you can leave. If you feel strongly about something common, you are the one who needs to ask if it's present, not the other way around. I don't go around telling people I have chairs either, in case someone dislikes chairs...

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Amerissis View Post
    Nope. My Google Homes are in plain view, if you have a problem with them, you can leave. If you feel strongly about something common, you are the one who needs to ask if it's present, not the other way around. I don't go around telling people I have chairs either, in case someone dislikes chairs...
    This.

    While I don't own any of these devices myself, I also wouldn't be telling every guest that comes around that I own one, if I owned one. My phone can do the same shit as a google home can anyway. I say ok google and the thing fires up. Same shit.

    It's my house anyway, so if I want to monitor you I will monitor you.

  13. #13
    I Don't Work Here Endus's Avatar
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    This isn't really a new issue. Nannycams and other hidden security cameras have been around for literally decades. Disclosure has never been an assumption.

    Before anyone says "what about two-party recording states", I'll just note that this generally doesn't apply to surveillance systems (or if it does, the sticker in the house window you ignored counts as you consenting), and it would only even come up if you tried to introduce the recording in a court proceeding, and the only consequence would be it being excluded as evidence.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Amerissis View Post
    Nope. My Google Homes are in plain view, if you have a problem with them, you can leave. If you feel strongly about something common, you are the one who needs to ask if it's present, not the other way around. I don't go around telling people I have chairs either, in case someone dislikes chairs...
    Chairs tend not to violate people's privacy or record what they say and do. Just saying.

    And back to the thread itself, it depends. If you are meeting up to have small talk, gather around a meal and catch up, it's probably okay and most people tend to forget to mention the existence of such devices(genuine forgetfulness); but if you are going to discuss private matters or have acts of intimacy, you have an ethical and possibly legal obligation to at least inform the other parties involved of said devices.
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  15. #15
    Sad state of affairs when consumer technology advances so much and makes the convenience of daily living so much easier, that it causes issues like this to happen.

  16. #16
    I have an Alexa, along with a few various other smart home devices mostly connected to the Alexa...
    Hadn't really crossed my mind as something to mention in a negative way.

    I've only ever mentioned it when either I was using it, or when I'd first bought it and was still giddy.


    I also just in general don't hang out with the kind of people that are scared of getting caught doing something so there's that...

    Might wanna think about who's in your home if they get uptight about being overheard?

  17. #17
    Over 9000! Mistame's Avatar
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    It really depends on how we're defining "should". As in, should there be a law that requires home owners to disclose such devices? No. It's not law-makers business what devices you use in your home. If we're just talking casually, it depends on your friends. If someone has a well-known aversion to such devices, the courteous thing would be to make them aware of it. That said, it's your home. Do what you want. If you want to tell people about it, go for it. If not, that's fine, too. The easiest thing to do would be post a sticker or sign that lists the devices in use.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lilithvia View Post
    I mean, if you have to disclose the use of cookies (which should have been done with from the start), you should have to disclose the use of smart home devices, which are things I will never use.
    Those two things are not related.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by KeirAdish View Post
    Might wanna think about who's in your home if they get uptight about being overheard?
    The sheer amount of retardation, profanity, and general lewdness of conversations that occur between my friends and I is definitely a few steps past Dave Chapelle's "Sticks and Stones". I don't want anyone recording any of that just so the internet can one day get at me with a doxing crusade while they conveniently ignore or hide their own deviant tendencies that are probably more harmful than our words.

    The general public isn't ready for complete transparency of unharmful/colorful actions and discussions.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by StayTuned View Post
    My phone can do the same shit as a google home can anyway. I say ok google and the thing fires up. Same shit.
    And it was built in to every iPhone for even longer with Siri after Apple bought Siri.

    Easy way to tell how dumb/tech illiterate the "anti home assistant" people are is their inevitable iPhone ownership and usage.
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  20. #20
    The Undying Doctor Amadeus's Avatar
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    Working in security my answer would be NO, it doesn't matter you are recorded with video and audio all the time likely without knowing even though there are places where you have to be informed this includes surveillance.

    Being recorded in and of itself really doesn't mean anything, at least no more than wearing gloves to protect from leaving your finger prints somewhere or constantly cleaning yourself to avoid leaving your DNA EVERYWHERE. Especially your semen according to CSI


    But the truth is it's all about context, video and audio in a court of law requires context, how do I know? Because we have a fuck tone of audio and video of people we KNOW commit crime and never is it ever a slam dunk, just because of that. And yes we have some of the most state of the art video and audio surveillance, but that by itself unlike movies or TV isn't 100% proof and sometimes isn't enough.

    The reason I bring this up is because people have a lot of goofy ass ideas about the government and what not and whatever concerns about their identity being misused. Sorry to say there isn't shit you can do if someone with means REALLY wants to do that and if someone wanted to frame you for a crime or go after you you not being recorded isn't going to save you from those capable of getting you.

    It just doesn't work that way, I am not saying it can't happen, what I am saying is that there is NOTHING you can DO to stop it. However the likelihood anyone would want to do that to you is very very remote unless there were a specific reason.

    It's really that simple

    Best thing you could ever do regardless to situation is never talk to cops EVER, they aren't the bad guys but they are NOT on your side, don't talk unless you speak to a lawyer, and if you have one appointed make sure you have something in writing from them before you do if you are really paranoid.

    Remember proving a case real or made up requires evidence and context. Most of the evidence we gather leads to conviction because of statements made by the suspect.


    So if you avoid doing stupid shit, and you don't talk to police you have almost nothing to worry about unless you pissed off someone really really powerful and specifically.
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