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Study: 1 in 10 smart home apps use collected data for tracking

June 5, 2024

Surfshark has published a study titled Smart Home Privacy Checker which looks at smart home devices and the significant privacy issues they raise.

Tech giants Amazon and Google developed the most data-hungry smart home device apps. Amazon’s Alexa gathers 28 out of 32 possible data points, which is more than three times the average collected by typical smart home devices.

Othr highlights from the study include:

  • 1 in 10 smart home apps use collected data for user tracking. Smart device apps primarily monitor users through their device ID, email address, and product interactions. Nearly one-third of the apps tracking data track these data points.
  • Outdoor security camera apps collect the most user data compared to other smart home devices. On average, they gather 12 data points, which is 50 per cent more than what’s usual for other smart home devices.
“Users must be made aware and given the means to reclaim their digital privacy. To counteract this, individuals should actively seek out and utilise privacy settings, question and manage app permissions, and stay informed about the data security policies of the smart home devices they choose to integrate into their lives,” commented Goda Sukackaite, Privacy Counsel at Surfshark.

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