As smart home technology has advanced, a group of people have been cringing so hard that I can almost feel it myself. These are the people that prefer to live “off the grid” and that don’t trust the government.
Some of them have budged a little and actually use cell phones, but it’ll be over their dead bodies before they get a smart home speaker. In fact, it’s likely that the more smart home technology advances, the further from city limits these people will go. When Skynet attacks, these people will survive; because they will be living underground by then.
Here are a few of the conspiracy theories that I gathered from talking to some people that are anti-smart home:
Conspiracy Theory #1: It’s a wiretap.
Fine. I have to admit that this one isn’t that far-fetched. I mean, these smart home speakers do have “always on” microphones (and maybe camera lenses with the newest models). So in (conspiracy) theory, it could record everything and anything whenever it wanted.
That being said, I do not believe that the government is in cahoots with the tech companies just to get people to volunteer to put wiretaps into their homes. However, I will say that the laws surrounding these devices are still tricky, and there have been cases where the government and the tech companies have butted heads over what can/should be legally accessible. It’s safe to say that maybe you should turn your microphone off and cover your camera lens if you’re having what you think is a sensitive conversation.
Conspiracy Theory #2: It can be remotely programmed to perform functions without your authority.
I don’t know why, but I was kind of surprised to hear this reasoning. I mean, smart speakers aren’t full on robots so what is the real worry here? They aren’t going to get up and start walking, and they can’t even kill you.
Unless – the conspiracy theorists reason – there are hidden functions built into the units. Examples included: chambers that can dispense toxic gases; pulsing sounds that can be emitted to calm people and animals, or to rile them up; flashing lights that can be triggered to activate or deactivate our brains. All of this sounds super logical, right? Or does it sound like maybe these people are already programmed with fear and paranoia?
Conspiracy Theory #3: It will hypnotize you to act on the government’s agenda while you are sleeping.
This is one of my favorites. I’m not really sure what people think the government might hypnotize us to do, but here are a few gems that I have overheard: quit smoking, start smoking, enlist in the military, vote a certain way, and purchase certain goods or services. The idea behind this is that it would work just like those tapes that you used to play while you slept to stop smoking or to learn a new language.
So, which side are you on? Are you pro-smart home speaker or against them?