University Puts Privacy At Risk By Installing IoT Devices
According to TechCrunch, Saint Louis University is installing more than 2,300 Echo Dot smart devices in student living spaces on campus. The University hopes to help students get answers to any of their university-related questions in a more convenient way.
“The students we attract are highly driven to achieve success in and out of the classroom,” said David Hakanson, SLU’s vice president and CIO. “Every minute we can save our students from having to search for the information they need online is another minute that they can spend focused on what matters most: their education.”
Unfortunately, by bringing IoT devices into every student residence hall room, students’ privacy is invaded. Saint Louis University says, “neither Alexa nor the Alexa for Business management system maintains recordings of any questions that are asked.”
This provides some peace of mind, but we have run into issues with IoT smart devices in the past. The school is clear that students can mute the microphone, and can unplug the product and store it for the year if they’d rather not use it.