They say convenience is king. Today, we rely on the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart devices to make our lives easier but that all comes with a price. The phones, watches and home automation that we have come to love and rely so much on, raise concerns about our privacy, security and freedom.

Yes, we can now adjust our thermostat from halfway across the state, let alone the world. We can have our refrigerator remind us that we are nearly out of milk and we need to order more. But these conveniences come with a hidden cost. Every time we engage with these devices, they transmit, log, and analyze data about us, putting together a comprehensive timeline of our personal life.

The Trade-off with Smart Devices

When you install these modern day appliances in your home, you are trading your privacy for convenience. You are potentially providing tech companies with more information than you bargained for. These devices can monitor and record and store your habits, your preferences and even track your location. This information is a gold mine for businesses and is often sold to third parties, sometimes without your knowledge. So how much privacy are you really sacrificing?

The IoT is Always Watching

IoT and modern electronics: always on and always watching.The surveillance capabilities of IoT resembles that of George Orwell’s novel 1984, where Big Brother is always watching. Smart devices are designed to listen, record and transmit data back to their manufacturers for analysis and to better the user experience. But this is not always benevolent, voice assistants and smart TVs have been caught recording and sending private conversations back to their company servers without the users consent. This poses a threat to your privacy and your freedom, as it has the potential to be misused by those at the other end.

Unwanted Influences

Your autonomy is your freedom to make choices without external influences. These devices cannot only learn your routines, and understand your preferences, they can also influence your decisions with the type of content that they display or products that are suggested. This should make you question how much they are influencing our purchases and lifestyle choices. How much autonomy do you really have?

Your Data

IoT devices are often built with limited security measures, thus leaving them susceptible to hacks and breaches. Cyber attacks then give hackers unauthorized access to personal information and can even take control over the IoT device. This can have consequences from a minor inconvenience to a risk on your personal safety.

Social Effects

While IoT has completely transformed society and the way in which we live, work, and interact with each other, it poses the risk that people will carry out self-censorship. They may be scared to think or act outside the box and what is regarded as routine, stifling creativity and innovation.


Understand the Devices Capabilities: Before you make a purchase, do your research and due diligence. Understand what data the device will collect from you and how it will be used. Make sure you read the fine print; it is often hidden there.

Securing your Devices: Most devices come with pre-installed passwords. Change all passwords and secure your networks. Do not let your system software go out of date. Install all software updates in a timely manner to protect against potential cyber-attacks.

Consider if it is necessary: This is up to you to decide whether the convenience of the device is worth the potential risks. Do you really need it? Is the convenience worth your privacy?


While today’s world of electronics and the Internet of Things (IoT) has an Orwellian aspect, you can find a balance between enjoying their convenience while protecting your privacy and independence. You don’t have to do without. As these technologies further become an integral part of our daily lives, staying alert and informed is key to making sure these digital devices serve us without taking away any of our fundamental rights.

Learn More with The Grafton Group about how to navigate the complexities of IoT security, privacy risks, and corporate investigations to safeguard your personal and professional interests effectively.