Open House: Connected Homes and the Curtilage

October 14, 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?