As reported in The FT this week, tech companies, telcos, and others are pursuing the lucrative home automation and security markets with a range of devices, from doorbells to robot vacuum cleaners.

For the individual, these may involve giving up some privacy to gain convenience and security. However for neighbours, for example, there may be no benefits to set against the loss of privacy, arising from being filmed leaving or entering the house, or recorded having a conversation on the doorstep. 

Manufacturers of these products would be wise to consider the implications for GDPR and other privacy regulations at design time, and provide greater control over their range and scope of coverage. Otherwise, we will create a surveillance environment that no-one wants, and the manufacturers will find themselves subject to much more stringent regulation.