Engel & Völkers Licence Partner Luzern > Blog > Smart home and privacy - how secure is your data?

Smart home and privacy - how secure is your data?

How nice it is in winter, for example, to come home to a pleasantly heated apartment, freshly brewed coffee, discreetly playing music and a pleasantly lit living room. Amazon Echo, Apple Siri, Google Home and Co. make it possible. But the smart home can do even more. You can control the light by voice command or monitor your house remotely. Talk to the mailman at the front door while you're sitting in a café in town! Controlling the smart home by phone or via the home network is increasingly becoming the standard for comfortable living. But how secure are your data and to what extent is data protection guaranteed?

- How to use your modern, networked smart home correctly and protect your data at the same time.

Convenience versus privacy: voice control in training 

The smart home can be controlled by voice command. A short voice activation like "Ok Google" or "Alexa" is sufficient to activate the respective language assistant. It listens to subsequent voice commands, implements them and records them. In most cases, the data is stored in a cloud. Providers such as Google and Amazon read out the data from these clouds for voice control training purposes and to improve their systems. But they record not only the command, but also the background sounds and other data. For the thoughtless user, the voice assistants in the smart home may develop into an involuntary bug. But this does not have to be the case, because data protection and modern technology are not contradictory when used correctly.

Smartphone privacy: security is a matter of settings

Artificial intelligence in the household saves time and certainly makes life more comfortable. However, you should not use smart home technology thoughtlessly. But even a few small settings on the system are usually enough to guarantee data protection. Regardless of whether you use Amazon or Google, you can usually make the data transfer settings directly in the app. For example, you can usually remove your consent for your data being used for system development purposes by changing the respective default setting. Regular security updates prevent hacker attacks, but are often not guaranteed for system solutions of smaller companies. Of course, your home network should always be encrypted, so that no third parties can access your data.

Use of data in the smart home in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation

If the data is transmitted to a cloud or to a server outside your home, the GDPR applies. According to the General Data Protection Regulation, the owner of the data must explicitly consent to the storage of the data. This often happens during the first installation without the user being aware of it. So, pay attention to what you approve when you set up your smart home. The General Data Protection Regulation ensures that companies cannot just do what they want with your data. Companies are obligated to:

  • collect only necessary data

  • use the data only for the intended purpose

  • store personal data only to a limited extent

  • protect the data from misuse and unauthorised access by third parties

Of course, you have the right to demand access to your data at any time. In the respective Google Assistant, Siri or Alexa App, you will find in the privacy section the option to either view the data, request it or set the data usage in detail. Data protection is therefore something that, for most systems, each user can largely regulate himself. Before the purchase it is recommended to check the options offered by the respective provider. If you use the right settings, the smart home is as safe as using the Internet and the network in general.

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Canton Lucerne - living in the heart of Switzerland

We offer fantastically beautiful properties in Meggen, St. Niklausen, Kastanienbaum, Horw, the city of Lucerne, Weggis or elsewhere in the beautiful canton of Lucerne. The charming central canton in the heart of Switzerland is known far beyond the borders of Lake Lucerne. In addition to a wide variety of locations, the canton of Lucerne also boasts outstanding infrastructure and a sometimes unique tax environment. The canton’s central location offers property owners a large selection of nearby destinations.

The central city life in Lucerne is particularly in demand for apartment seekers, but holiday destinations such as Weggis and Vitznau also invite you to discover your dream home further out.

The city of Lucerne – an oasis of well-being for property owners

The city of Lucerne is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful cities in Switzerland.  The chapel bridge of Lucerne and the water tower have become symbols of the city. Together with the KKL (Lucerne Culture and Congress Center) they bring worldwide fame to the central swiss centre of art and culture. Every year, thousands of tourists travel to the City of Lights, Lucerne to be enchanted by the charm of the city and its surrounding communities. Like the canton, the city of Lucerne offers a variety of residential properties in a manageable area. The house in natural surroundings merges with an urban quality of life.

Many Lucerneers dream of living in their own home. The most favorable time for a real estate purchase is when the interest rates are low. Engel & Völkers Lucerne specializes in finding the best properties and giving you exclusive access to them.

Real estate in Lucerne

From exciting investment opportunities to beautifully located living spaces, Lucerne offers an appealing and wide range of real estate not only because of its scenic diversity, but also because of the diverse population. Residential areas such as Horw, Kriens, Adligenswil, Udligenswil, as well as the Rontal, etc. with inviting family quarters border on breathtaking neighborhoods, just as they can be found in Kastanienbaum, Meggen or the city of Lucerne. Charming old-style apartments, modern new apartments, small chalets with gardens - the real estate on offer in the Lucerne area is as individual as our customers. Living where others go on holiday – it’s a credo that stretches from the Horwer peninsula to Weggis and Vitznau. Enjoy breathtaking sunsets on your private balcony or patio.

Whether only a few square meters or an extensive living space - the real estate portfolio in Lucerne leaves nothing to be desired. Nature lovers, city people, investors, families, celebrities, ordinary people - you will find your dream home in the canton of Lucerne.

Prices and locations of real estate

The price is not as high for a family home in the city of Lucerne and the neighboring sea communities as it is in the more common Swiss hotspots, which include, for example the neighboring canton of Zug. Nevertheless, given the price of property transfer ranging between 1.5 and 2 million francs for a medium-sized property, the number of potential buyers has narrowed noticeably. A growing number of buyers are therefore attracted to the Lucerne agglomeration and now increasingly to the rural areas of the canton as well. These include the communities Schwarzenberg, Malters, Ebikon, Dierikon, Buchrain, Root, Gisikon, Honau, Greppen, as well as those closer to the city, such as Entlebuch with Doppelschwand, Entlebuch, Flühli, Hasle (LU), Romoos, Schüpfheim, Werthenstein, Escholzmatt-Marbach and of course Wolhusen.

Professional real estate marketing

Anyone who is toying with the idea of selling their property successfully should put this issue in the hands of an expert. In addition to comprehensive local market knowledge, our experienced real estate consultants have sound real estate-specific know-how and are happy to advise you on all your questions about real estate. Your success is our goal and your claim our benchmark.

With Engel & Völkers Lucerne, you can expect swift, discreet and professional marketing of your property. We offer our clients an all-around service - from the non-binding market value assessment of your property to the tailor-made marketing concept, through to the successful sale.

Are you still looking for a property in Lucerne?

Maybe our real estate offers are just right for you!

Would you like to be informed in advance about current properties in Lucerne? We will gladly accept your specific search criteria and inform you when something becomes available, even before the property is listed online.

Whether buying or selling a property, we are a real estate expert for you in the market every day. Engel und Völkers is your contact for your individual real estate-specific needs.

We look forward to hearing from you regarding all real estate matters by phone at 041 410 66 91, by e-mail at luzern@engelvoelkers.com or with a visit to our shop in Lucerne! Our real estate consultants Hendrik Capelle, Sara Markesic, Daniel Bamert, Charles Marti and of course office manager Alexander Joost look forward to your contact.

Your Engel & Völkers team