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Here's Another Case of Technology Going Too Far

Illustration for article titled Heres Another Case of Technology Going Too Far
Photo: Donald Miralle (Getty Images for Rock’n’Roll Marathon)

Some unknown person hacked into a Seattle couple’s baby monitor on Monday and was talking to their three-year-old child! I’m comfortable calling this creepy behavior.

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The couple, who went by the names Jo and John to KING5 News in Seattle, were (rightly) shaken by the experience. Their kid said started calling them upstairs. “She said the ‘voice is talking to me,’” Jo told the news station.

Excuse me?! But there’s more!

Jo continued: I said, ‘The voice is talking to you. What’s going on?’ And she said the man said, ‘Jayden, I love you.’ And I said, ‘what?’”

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I echo Jo’s thought: What???

“Someone was in our daughter’s room, basically watched her,” Jo told KING5. “And I don’t know what all they saw, what they got from that. Is it the fear alone they’re enjoying? It’s just so unsettling to not know.”

The parents thought it might be someone from the window or a talking stuffed animal (both still creepy) but then they saw that the video baby monitor had changed positions. I know this isn’t a complete sentence, but it is my genuine reaction: !!!!

Apparently John’s mom had also heard a voice upstairs but dismissed it. Bet John’s mom is horrified, too.

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Per KING5, here’s the offending camera:

The camera is a WiFi-connected device branded “Taococo” that is sold on Amazon by Fredi. Listed in the product description, users are directed to seek support from an email at FrediCCTV.com. That domain returns to a site listing similar-looking security cameras branded Fredi.

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They were disturbed because the camera had good reviews online. “Here’s a $50 camera that has glowing reviews, because it’s a good camera and an affordable option,” Jo told the news station. “Like, how many families are going to get this camera that’s not secure? And that’s just really upsetting. How could this happen to anyone?”

The baby monitor was a shower gift about six months ago, and what would I give to be a fly on the wall when they told the gift giver what has come of this gift.

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DISCUSSION

mortal-dictata
Mortal Dictata

Yet another in the “internet of things is a terrible idea” wagon. I’m a complete techie who deliberately has as few gadgets as possible that have wifi capability and/or video/microphones on them because most tend to be poorly coded and vulnerable. The free Alexa I got with one of my utilities quickly went up for sale at £50 because I’m not having that shit in my flat.

There’s also the problem that in many of these cases it’s not just the product but also the fact people are still incredibly oblivious to how to set up secure wifi networks in their homes, with easy to guess short passwords and lack of two-factor on their items.