I’m interested in setting up a smart home, and doing so with Samsung’s SmartThings. But, I have major concerns about privacy that I wanted to first ask.
The Samsung FAQ says that “Samsung takes consumer privacy very seriously. We always ask for a consumer’s consent before collecting information and use it to make our systems work better. We abide by industry-standard security practices to safeguard consumers’ personal information.”
I am pretty careful about my privacy, and while I know that I can’t protect it all, I also know I can do what I can (within reason) to limit its distribution.
First, could I opt out of all my data from being transmitted (or at least stored) by Samsung? That includes not allowing SmartThings to communicate usage of any connected device (e.g., TV, door, dishwasher, lights…) whether actively or passively used.
Second, if not, does SmartThings need to connect to Samsung’s servers for it to be remotely controllable, and to what extent? For instance, if I block the IP ranges to which it communicates, would it still function?
Finally, could it work without any Internet connection, as basically a local-only automation and monitoring tool? I ask because, if I can’t limit data transmission selectively, I would consider setting up the SmartHome on its own network without any access to the internet. I know, this sort of defeats a major benefit - remote access - but it would still have the benefit of allowing me to control everything centrally at the local level. I would also have the option of placing certain “critical” components on a public network, e.g., the smart locks.
To note, I have never registered my Samsung phone with Google / Android, Samsung, or any other company (all manually backed up). Therefore I could not integrate standard phone Samsung services as they don’t function on my Samsung phone.
Thanks a ton for any insight into this!