20sep smart appliances and privacy hero
Research report
8 September 2020

Smart appliances: convenient or creepy?

Smart appliances can collect data about you and your home. But what kind of information? And can you be sure it’s secure?

Member comments

Get access to comment

Paul W
12 Sep 2020
Smart Appliances

Apart from a smart TV there's no way I would buy a smart washing machine or refrigerator with WiFi that would be obsolete no doubt after 2 to 3 years. Just a sales pitch to those who must have the latest and greatest tech.

David C.
14 Sep 2020
Smart TVs

Just as a thought, does your TV have a camera for things like Zoom use? You might want to stick something removable - like a post-it - over that as wireless connections to cameras can be hacked and there have been accusations of cameras and microphones monitoring people.

https://www.consumerreports.org/privacy/how-to-turn-off-smart-tv-snooping-features/ and https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices/portland/news/press-releases/tech-tuesdaysmart-tvs/?=portland-field-office

A little paranoid: yes, probably. But so many companies have proved to be uninterested in user privacy that they really are all tainted by that lack of moral compass.

Debbie D.
12 Sep 2020
Worried

I recently bought a new LG front loader washing machine. A lot of the time I wash very delicate items and just want to spin them after I've washed by hand. But apparently, I have to download "Other Options" by connecting to WiFi to enable me to do this. I started to download the LG App and then saw that they wanted access to all my information, so I stopped and deleted it.
This is not right and my gut instinct tells me there is something sinister going on with all these Apps and Cookie requirements.
All I want to do is a simple "Spin" mode on my washing machine for goodness' sake!

Bette S.
12 Sep 2020
Spin on lg

You may find you can just spin. On our new LG frontloader you get just spin by turning machine on and then without selecting a wash programme just pressing the spin setting This brings up different spin speeds. Away you go!

Kas S.
12 Sep 2020
As Bette says

Just turn your LG on and select spin speed options without touching anything else. Have to admit when I brought my LG front loader last year I thought "why on earth do I need WiFi on a washing machine?" Now say that after I thought "Oh well, what the hell, give it a go," Set it up and found it is handy while I'm busy doing something else, the machine will let my cellphone and smart watch know when it's finished and to unload. Other times I've forgotten and left it sitting in the machine for hours and missed a good day hanging washing outside in the good weather.

David C.
10 Sep 2020
Why would you want smart appliances?

Smart appliances are more complex, so there's more to go wrong in things that are notoriously short-lived anyway.

And because you pay for all the extra features, likely of dubious usefulness, you're actually paying to have a manufacturer collect your data and turn it in to a commodity, valuable to them.

At least Facebook and the others have the grace to not try and charge you for their use of your data.