By Claire Bernish
Thanks to what’s known as the Internet of Things — the growing number of ‘smart’ devices and appliances connected to the Web and to each other — will be used by police to solve violent crimes.Your fridge, law enforcement says, might help solve a murder.
However beneficial that sounds, it indicates a number of circumstances to send chills down the spines of privacy rights advocates — or anyone who doesn’t find the idea of, say, a washing machine spying on their every move.
“Wireless cameras within a device, such as fridge, may record the movement of owners and suspects,” Metropolitan Police head of the digital, cyber and communications forensics unit, Mark Stokes told The Times.
Doorbells that connect directly to apps on a user’s phone can show who has rung the door and the owner or others may then remotely, if they choose, to give controlled access to the premises while away from the property.
All these leave a log and a trace of activity. The crime scene of tomorrow is going to be the internet of things.
Stokes explained detectives are already being trained to hunt for such devices at crime scenes in order to map both victims’ and suspects’ digital footprints. So many appliances and personal devices are now linked to the Internet under the premise of convenience, Stokes’ assessment isn’t an exaggeration.
Indeed, many privacy advocates and domestic surveillance critics — like whistleblower Edward Snowden — have long warned the consumer culture’s lust for convenience and saving time would usurp more rational goal of keeping the government’s prying eyes out of our homes.