“Thermostats, Locks and Lights: Tools of Domestic Abuse”
Nellie Bowles, The New York Times, June 23, 2018
There are also great possibilities here for landlords and managers of residential-care facilities to drive out tenants/residents who complain too much or fall behind in the rent.
Abusers — using apps on their smartphones, which are connected to the internet-enabled devices — would remotely control everyday objects in the home, sometimes to watch and listen, other times to scare or show power. Even after a partner had left the home, the devices often stayed and continued to be used to intimidate and confuse.
For victims and emergency responders, the experiences were often aggravated by a lack of knowledge about how smart technology works, how much power the other person has over the devices, how to legally deal with the behavior and how to make it stop. …
Those at help lines said more people were calling in the last 12 months about losing control of Wi-Fi-enabled doors, speakers, thermostats, lights and cameras. Lawyers also said they were wrangling with how to add language to restraining orders to cover smart home technology. …
Legal recourse may be limited. Abusers have learned to use smart home technology to further their power and control in ways that often fall outside existing criminal laws.