Smart mirrors: The battle to track our body and behavior

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Social media and the internet exert a disruptive influence on our attention spans, social instincts, and cognitive processes.

In the context of knowing already that social media and especially the constant pop up notifications that warn you that your best friend from kindergarten, smart mirrors are the latest addition to the ever-growing array of source for anxiety or better call: Spy home devices.

Well by latest, we mean the ones with facial recognition, because Samsung present their first smart mirror back in 2015. The technology consisted of a 140 cm mirror fitted with a transparent OLED on the front, connected to the internet that shows information like news, weather, or whatever you want, right there on top of your stunning visage.

Imagine you in a quiet evening at home, only to feel restless due to the influx of messages from friends enjoying trendy restaurants or special events, not only on your phone but in your room, coming from your mirror, meanwhile you are feeling that the most exciting activities are happening elsewhere. This sensation, termed “fear of missing out,” reflects the pervasive feeling.

Currently, there’s a widespread trend of directing our technologies inward. Our technologies are now intertwining with our minds, memories, metabolisms, personalities, offspring, and potentially even our spiritual essence. These mirrors, equipped with high-tech features such as touchscreens, cameras, and voice assistants, function as entertainment hubs, personal assistants, and even exercise coaches.

Smart mirrors are in the frontier of our intimacy, where pretty much everything relating to the body and moreover it is about matters that we only share with people who are traditionally close to us: our beloved, our immediate family members and true friends.

This mirrors collect and transmit varying degrees of personal data, including detailed whole body video capture, voice and audio capture, settings configurations, personal profiles, and usage data: invading intimate spaces.

Sportswear company Lululemon acquired a smart mirror company for 500 million dollars in 2020. Just in time to take part in the wave of home workouts triggered by the global pandemic. The $1,495 mirror offers a range of features, including personalized tips, fitness goal tracking and access to streaming workouts.

To me, Lululemon is just a big company capitalizing on people’s fears and traumas. This trend will continue as more and more models are currently being developed that use facial recognition technology, gas sensors and 3D scanners to look for signs of stress or anxiety, indicate how much a person drinks or smokes, and detect weight gain or loss before giving an overall “health score”.


What is Digital Intimacy and how to protect it?

Digital intimacy has two sides of the coin: yes, it is very good to be able to connect with people we love with just one click, but technology listens to us, learns from us and transmits from us.

Consumer purchasing decisions are primarily influenced by habit, emotion, and intuition rather than logical arguments and reasoning.

Therefore, it is beneficial for marketers and advertisers to delve into the genuine emotions and sentiments of consumers in order to effectively target their strategies, this is why collecting data from the most intimate spaces is so important.

According with the Smart Mirror company’s privacy policies, the device can collect:

Full name
Date of birth
Business/company name
Job title
Contact details including email addresses and telephone numbers
Demographic information such as postcode, preferences, and interests
Financial information such as credit/debit card numbers
IP address
Web browser type and version
Operating system
List of URLs, including referring site, activity on Our Services, and the site you exit to.

The potential fallout from a data breach or loss could have far-reaching consequences for people. The primary worry surrounding smart products revolves around privacy safeguards in our increasingly interconnected world, particularly when a product is newly introduced or gains widespread adoption.
We should be already mindful of similar concerns regarding various smart and interconnected devices, including cameras, cell phones, smart refrigerators, and beyond.

Not only from a privacy perspective. Dependency can also be a significant concern with smart mirrors. Users might become reliant on the convenience that these mirrors offer, making it difficult to go about daily activities without them.
This can be a problem when these devices malfunction or are not available, leading to frustration and inconvenience.

This is the reality in the 21st century. Technology gathers information about us; sophisticated cameras can monitor our physiological responses, such as heart rate, and even assess aspects of our health, such as fertility, without our explicit awareness.

Technology permeates our interpersonal interactions on a broad scale; you engage with social media platforms to present yourself to the world, connect with others, and share experiences and now big tech companies are pushing you to incorporate trackers even when you look and engage with yourself.

For me smart mirrors are a privacy nightmare, honestly.

The high cost, privacy concerns, technical issues, limited use, and dependency are significant disadvantages. But is the AI-connected mirror really all it’s cracked up to be, or just another high-tech toy that we’ll toss away after it gets boring?
I hope is the second option.

Zuletzt beim PRVCY Insider:


Hallo, ich bin Chris.

Ich bin hier, um Dir bei jedem Schritt Deiner PRVCY-Reise zu helfen.

Wir veröffentlichen Neuigkeiten und Infos, basierend auf unseren Forschungen, um dir zu helfen, die Kontrolle über deine PRVCY zurückzuerlangen!

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