We’ve written before about the drawbacks of the vaunted “Internet of Things.” For one thing, equipping common household products with Internet connections endows your home with unexpected security gaps. For another, it gives manufacturers and sellers of “smart” projects far more control over you as a customer than you know.
This cutting-edge connectivity can tempt merchants or manufacturers into abusing their powers. But the experience of “R. Martin,” the buyer of a “smart” garage door opener named Garadget, provides a perfect example. Martin ran into trouble installing the device and let the world know. But it’s safe to say that it’s the manufacturer who ended up learning a bitter lesson.
Here’s the story, as pieced together from an item at ArsTechnica and an interview we conducted with Denis Grisak, the manufacturer.
Obviously it was a mistake. I was overprotective of my product and it was hard to take this criticism. It’s not going to happen again.
Denis Grisak, inventor and distributor of Garadget
Garadget is a device that attaches to your garage-door opener to allow it to communicate with a smartphone app via the Internet. The device can detect if your garage door has been left open too long and send a warning to the app. The owner can then remotely close the door. Users who have misplaced their openers can open and close the door with the app instead. According to the manufacturer,…