Cross-posted at Fortune.
In case you’re wondering, microwaves can’t take pictures of you. For starters, they don’t have cameras. But—and I can’t believe I’m writing this—Kellyanne Conway earlier this week was right to raise concerns about the security of “smart” devices connected to the Internet, even if it was an attempt to distract from President Trump’s unsubstantiated claim that President Obama had “wiretapped” Trump Tower.
Had Conway said she was worried about her dishwasher instead of her microwave, she might’ve been on to something. Back in 2012, a Wired headline read, “CIA Chief: We’ll Spy On You Through Your Dishwasher,” describing the clandestine agency’s very real plans to hack the “Internet of Things.” And as we now know, the CIA did find a way to turn Samsung “smart” TVs into covert listening devices.
In fact, the proliferation of Internet-connected devices with poor security is a major problem for at least a few reasons. First, they are indeed capable of exposing personal information—which is precisely why the CIA did it. The words we say in front of the TV are, to put it mildly, quite different from the words we would use on TV. And other “smart” home devices, from thermostats to baby monitors to Wi-Fi-enabled light bulbs, are also vulnerable to hacking.
Read the full article at Fortune.