Open House: Connected Homes and the Curtilage

Download Full Text PDF

Volume 18, Issue 1 (Oct 2016)

Keynote, UNC JOLT 2016 Symposium

We have heard all morning about legal issues with the Internet of Things; I want to begin with acknowledging the human aspects and human interests in Internet-enabled homes, which are more visceral and personal than IoT devices monitoring other interactions. I have worked in privacy for almost 20 years, and I passionately believe we need to think carefully about the privacy implications that come with technology, especially when we are dealing with the home.

The rapid increase of technology is re-defining our very concept of “home,” and that raises several crucial questions:

  1.  what do we mean by “home,”
  2.  why do we expect more privacy in our homes, and
  3. if that is a legitimate expectation under the current legal doctrine, is that expectation sustainable – or even reasonable – in a sensor-laden world where actions inside and outside the house are documented, gauged and stored?

Mary Ellen Callahan. Open House: Connected Homes and the Curtilage, 18 N.C.J.L. & Tech. 1 (2016), available at

The North Carolina Journal of Law & Technology has adopted the Open Access Program, a part of the Scholar’s Copyright Project created by Science Commons. Authors designate the conditions under which their articles are licensed. By downloading articles, you agree to comply with the license terms specified. Please contact NC JOLT at with permissions inquiries.