Are Baby Monitors and Smart Speakers Enabling Abuse?

According to a recent article by the BBC, fitness trackers, home security systems, smart speakers, virtual assistants, and baby monitors could be fueling the growing issue of tech-enabled domestic abuse. And, while the article highlights the happenings in the UK, well, we have all the same devices here in the U.S. They found the devices were being used to ‘monitor, harass, coerce and control” victims by collecting recordings and images.

The Culture, Media, and Sport Committee has been investigating the problem since May 2022. It claims that they heard evidence that most domestic abuse cases now feature some sort of cyber element, including spyware use, perpetrators monitoring movements, and collecting recordings and photos of victims.

According to the committee, children need protection, not just from abuse but from having their data and personal information harvested and misused.

A Government spokesperson pointed to the cross-party Tackling Domestic Abuse Plan published in March 2022. Plans are to introduce rules next year to bolster cyber-security standards across devices, protecting individual privacy and security.

Time to look closer at all of our devices, it seems.

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