From her home in San Fransisco, the writer had full access to an Oregon family's lights, which she turned on and off with their permission to test her theory. If she wanted to, she could have also taken control of their hot tub, or even their garage doors. Part of the appeal of smart homes is supposed to be safety, but if a burglar can just use Google to pop open your garage door, he doesn't even have to stress about breaking and entering. Which is great, because burglars already have a lot on their minds.
Want an even more alarming example? An Illinois police officer was fired last year for using Nest security cameras to spy on his ex-wife. He had the system installed while their divorce was pending, then once he moved out, he was able to use this miraculous new technology to watch her at all hours from the convenience of his laptop or smartphone. And if you're worried that story was too dark, buckle up, because this next one is worse.
GPS Will Sometimes Just Lead People To Their Horrible Deaths
Rangers in Death Valley National Park call it "Death by GPS." It happens when a tourist's navigation device leads them to a place which A) they can't get out of and B) where conditions won't allow a human to survive for long.
It's the result of the GPS doing its job too well. In an effort to find the quickest possible route, it may put you on an access road, or a road that's no longer in use, or one that's otherwise not appropriate for your dainty car. The GPS doesn't care if it's called Sharks With Human Legs Attack Zone Rd if it'll get you to Sport Clips three minutes faster than the interstate. Still, the moment that little voice calmly steers you into an inescapable trap, it would have to seem coldly intentional.
WARNING: This is about to get sad.
In 2009, a nurse and her six-year-old son were lured 20 miles into the desert by her GPS. Her car then got buried up to the axles in sand. Rangers found the woman a week later near death, her son already dead. The same thing happened to a couple in their late 50s who followed their GPS deep into the Jarbidge Mountains during a late-night road trip. They ended up trapped on a dangerous road that was too narrow for them to turn the car around. The husband continued into the woods on foot, while the wife remained behind due to a knee injury. The wife survived in the van for seven weeks before being rescued by a group of hunters. The husband died from exposure seven miles from the van.
Oh, and there have been multiple reported cases of GPS devices directing people to drive their cars into a pond or lake, the most recent happening earlier this year. So the next time your GPS says "Make a U-turn," be sure it check that it's not trying to kill your ass before obeying.
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For more, check out The 8 Most Hilarious Ways GPS Has Screwed People Over and 6 Shocking Ways Your Phone Is Destroying The Planet.
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