How to best plan your smart home – and weigh privacy risks

How to best plan your smart home - and weigh privacy risks
FILE- In this Sept. 20, 2017, file photo the Nest Secure alarm system is seen on display during an event in San Francisco. Technology companies are pushing the “smart home,” selling appliances and gadgets that offer internet-connected conveniences you didn’t know you needed. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Technology companies are pushing the “smart home,” selling appliances and gadgets that offer internet-connected conveniences you didn’t know you needed.

But these devices might also give the companies — and hackers — a key to your homes.

Many devices are constantly listening for commands and connect to corporate servers to carry them out. For the most part, sound recordings will leave home only when you trigger the device, but missteps sometimes happen.

Even if a product works as intended, it may leave a record that can be disclosed through hacks, lawsuits or investigations. In a child-custody dispute, for instance, your ex might subpoena records on your digital lock to learn that you’ve been staying out late on school nights.