Personal data

The Cost of Home Security: Balancing Safety with Privacy

To stand out, alarm companies are not hesitating to offer online services that are completely gadgety, energy-intensive, and borderline for your privacy...

Home alarm systems promise to keep us safe and secure, but at what cost? This article delves into the trade-offs between privacy and safety when it comes to the data captured by home alarms and surveillance systems

The term "alarm" comes from the Italian "all'arme" which means "to arms." Today, the definition of alarms has greatly evolved. We have alarms on our phones, computers, servers... alarms that fit the original definition are now found in homes or business premises, to signal an intrusion.

Home alarms, like many other areas, have evolved towards digital. With the emergence of large capacity hard drives and access to the web, it was logical that alarms found a place in the cloud.

Security companies have understood this well: to attract customers and differentiate themselves from their competitors, they offer more and more services:

  • Notifications sent to your smartphone.
  • Detailed reports (entry time, exit time, badge used...) sent at regular intervals.
  • Remote access to the cameras in your home.
  • Photos and videos stored on the servers of the companies.
  • Remote opening of your door for a package delivery...

As customers, manufacturers, and developers, we must question the usefulness of these services. Is it relevant to receive frequent access reports to your home? Is it useful to store all sorts of private data without ever deleting them?

We all have the power to act at our level. This is the time to adopt a digital sobriety approach, to propose/use higher quality, more economical, and less energy-intensive services. Let's all be actors by refusing to use gadget features, but also by refusing to create them. Let's focus on what is essential: protecting our home and driving away intruders. In this sense, the continuous storage of personal information is not only optional, but problematic.

Don't forget that Murphy's Law applies in these cases: unfortunately, the day the police asks for a nice picture of the burglar, the system has not recorded the image on the server...

In general, do you give in to the additional options? Or do you manage to stick to the essential functions?

Journalist constantly searching for new tools that are lightweight, accessible to all, and respectful of users' privacy.


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