Smart Homes and Domestic Violence Concerns

Smart home technology is becoming increasingly common here in America. The list of smart home devices out there is continually growing. It includes things such as internet- connected cameras, lights, locks, speakers and thermostats. According to one estimate, 29 million U.S. homes had some degree of smart technology in them in 2017. The same report found that the number of American homes with such technology is growing at a rate of around 31 percent a year.

There are some safety concerns that arise with this trend. This includes domestic abuse concerns. Smart homes could present new vulnerabilities for domestic violence victims.

There have been reports of abusers using this technology against victims. This generally involves abusers remotely accessing smart home devices in the place a victim lives to use the controlled devices to monitor, control or harass the victim. So, victims of domestic violence may have worries about the smart technology in their homes. This can particularly be the case if their abuser installed the technology and has been the main person controlling it.

This potential vulnerability raises some new legal issues. This includes issues regarding what can be done within protective orders to address the possibility of smart home devices being used by abusers against victims.

As this illustrates, new technologies sometimes create new concerns for victims of domestic violence. When it comes to these and other concerns, it is important for domestic violence victims to understand their rights. Domestic violence lawyers can help victims of abuse pursue legal protections for addressing their particular concerns.

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