REAL LIFE NEWS: GADGET COMPANY SABOTAGES CUSTOMER’S GARAGE DOOR AFTER BAD REVIEW
It used to be a worry that software companies had control over the programs you installed on your computer. Now the Internet of Things is extending that control to physical objects as well, which is a real worry – as the owner of a garage door opener found out recently.
Robert Martin bought a garage door opener that was controlled by an app on his smart phone. The Garadget is supposed to connect to existing hardware on garage doors and let you open and close the door remotely. The app also alerts you when the garage is accessed.
But Martin wasn’t happy with the app so he complained on the company’s official discussion board, and wrote a bad review on Amazon.
Now, normally that kind of complaint leads either to the company responding to the disgruntled customer to try and help – or to the grumble being ignored. But in this case the company did something different. They disabled his gadget by cutting off its connection to the company’s server. That meant the iPhone app couldn’t talk to the garage-door opener, rendering it useless.
You can read the full story of the interaction between Martin and the creator of the device at the link below.
Wow. Just in case you weren’t worried enough about the Internet of Things – with the risk of devices being hacked, or manufacturers not keeping the software updated, or bugs making them useless… now you have to factor in the chance that a vengeful company boss will press a button to stop it working!