The Surveillance Is Coming From Inside the (Smart) House
A designer works with victims of domestic abuse to make all those fancy speakers and thermostats safer.
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Host Shannon Palus talks to Roxanne Leitão, a U.K.-based designer researching ways to make smart home gear safer for victims of domestic abuse. They discuss the ways that smart thermostats can be used to gaslight victims, the security measures that can help everyone in a home have agency, and the reason why smart home tech that’s hard to understand is all the more dangerous. They also touch on Leitão’s other research in designing gig economy platforms that reduce the potential for bias against workers. Afterward, Aaron Mak joins Palus for Don’t Close My Tabs.
Podcast production by Justin D. Wright.
Stories discussed on the show:
“When Smart Homes Become Smart Prisons,” by Roxanne Leitão
“Anticipating Smart Home Security and Privacy Threats With Survivors of Intimate Partner Abuse,” by Roxanne Leitão
Don’t Close My Tabs:
Shannon’s Tab: “Cashing In on Climate Change” by Slate Staff
Aaron’s Tab: “The Viral Selfie App ImageNet Roulette Seemed Fun—Until It Called Me a Racist Slur,” by Julia Carrie Wong
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If Then is presented by Slate and Future Tense, a collaboration among Arizona State University, New America, and Slate. Future Tense explores the ways emerging technologies affect society, policy, and culture. To read more, follow us on Twitter and sign up for our weekly newsletter.