The HandyTech's Coming between 1 and 4
No Thumbnail Available
Gunter, Carl A.
Smart homes are gaining popularity due to their convenience and efficiency, both of which come at the expense of increased complexity of Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Due to the number and heterogeneity of IoT devices, technologically inexperienced or time-burdened residents are unlikely to manage the setup and maintenance of IoT apps and devices. We highlight the need for a "HandyTech": a technically skilled contractor who can set up, repair, debug, monitor, and troubleshoot home IoT systems. In this paper, we consider the potential privacy challenges posed by the HandyTech, who has the ability to access IoT devices and private data. We do so in the context of single and multi-user smart homes, including rental units, condominiums, and temporary guests or workers. We examine the privacy harms that can arise when a HandyTech has legitimate access to information, but uses it in unintended ways. By providing insights for the development of privacy control policies and measures in-home IoT environments in the presence of the HandyTech, we capture the privacy concerns raised by other visitors to the home, including temporary residents, part-time workers, etc. This helps lay a foundation for the broad set of privacy concerns raised by home IoT systems.