We are not against technology in any way. Our house uses some of the latest advances in wood building technology. We will be using solar panels and the most recent developments in energy storage. We have wireless Internet – that’s how you’re reading this post. But there’s one kind of technology we will not be using: connected ‘smart home’ technology and anything to do with the ‘Internet of Things’.
There are very good reasons for this. Professionally, I work on issues of surveillance and security and it’s clear to me that connecting consumer items and homes has little to do with any benefit to users, and far more to do with infiltrating surveillance devices into more and more aspects of lives to generate data not for our benefit but data that can be packaged and sold in order to market more stuff to us. If you examine the claims made about smart devices, there are usually no coherent justifications, and at the same time each device creates a privacy and security vulnerability. At most there is a tiny element of ‘convenience.’ But that’s it. No one actually needs their refrigerator or your coffee maker to communicate via the Internet. It makes little sense to have your garage or front door lock connected and accessible via a smart phone.
So, our house is certainly intelligent in the sense that a lot of thought has gone into it, and it works, it does what it was intended to do. However, it is not and never will be a ‘smart home.’