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As long as the code behind "smart" home devices is proprietary, these companies are free to spy on us as much as they like. Help us fight back: tell your friends about free software and urge then to join the FSF! Support . fsf.org

@fsf How would their #SourceCode being freely available change anything about surveillance by #SmartHome devices? If we want to ban such spying, this must be done on the basis of #privacy laws and #licence terms.

@pixelcode @fsf I think the thing is that if the source code is OpenSource then you can see what the device is doing and hence make an informed choice about what it does and whether you use it.

@abeorch @fsf Well, the privacy invasion doesn't even happen on the device itself in the first place. 🤷

@abeorch @fsf It's not the smart home device itself that's misusing the user's personal data for profit – that happens on the vendor's server instead.

@pixelcode @fsf yes completely agree but then if you can see the source code of the device you can see what data is being sent to that server so you can make a decision on whether to use that service or device. Ideally you would be able to send data to their servers and still retain control of what they do with it as well. There are actually open source services that can give you that control . Its just that not many vendors are using them because we aren't asking them to.

@abeorch @fsf Usually, smart home devices just upload everything to the cloud. 🤷

@pixelcode @fsf ah yeah ..depends what you mean smart home device. the closed source stuff tends to. More complex devices contain what are called edge computing where they process stuff locally and then only send some summary information. #alexa does some of that so does #google smart speakers but without being #OpenSource it's hard to know what they are doing. In comparison #mycroft does a heap of processing locally and you can see exactly what it will send where when.

@pixelcode @fsf The idea behind Free Software is users have the freedom to run, study, modify, and redistribute the code.

If the source code for smart home devices was under a license that prevents tivoization, such as (A)GPLv3, then one would be able to modify the code to prevent it from spying on them and being fully reliant on a single server.

@Kimimaru @fsf Yeah, but many smart home features simply rely on the vendor's cloud service, and even a free client couldn't prevent the server from misusing all the info it receives. 🤷

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