Proposal: HOPR as a basis for smart home services

The collaboration with Sedimentum shows how use cases that are already extremely privacy-conscious still disclose metadata. The context is particularly interesting: sensors in the home. Smart Home in a broader sense increases more and more a households’ inclusiveness, safety, resilience, and sustainability. With COVID-19 and the work-from-home trend, connectivity at home has increased even faster.

From the literature (see e.g. Investigating People’s Privacy Risk Perception) it is clear that privacy risks are the most relevant risks at home. They also lead to lower acceptance of the technology.

From a technological perspective, it is exciting that the big players are agreeing on standards (see e.g. Matter: Neuer Smart-Home-Standard von Apple, Amazon, Google und Co.).

It would therefore be worthwhile for HOPR to design a framework that enables metadata from smart homes to be sent securely over the Internet - on the basis of common standards (especially upload/download to the cloud). I think that the topic is relevant far beyond the MedTech use case with Sedimentum. Smart homes also address security needs (security cameras, motion activities) or enable automation in everyday life (presence times at home). Very sensitive information is hidden everywhere. The fact that this information comes from one’ own home reinforces the privacy effect.


Thanks for the proposal!

How might this work? What metadata would it protect? The use case HOPR has identified for medtech is particularly for context where it’s important to obscure the fact that any medical data is originating from a location at all. For the EPD, would that also apply?

thanks @thewanderingeditor for your comment. it made me reflect on the medtech use case and I changed my proposal to the wider area of smart home.

let me know what you think of it!

Thanks for the update! I think this is a big improvement. I’m going to tentatively mark this as pending, but I expect the tech team might want a few more details of how this framework might be designed and implemented.


I thought about such a usecase as well!!
@thewanderingeditor i agree with you that the topic raised by @Ragws13 is highly interesting, however a clear implementation process & a more narrow focus is necessary. Would there even be any chance on connecting to the data stream of for ex.Philips Hue which access tons of userdata via light control?
Or Do you guys see the collaboration with a decentralized wireless infrastructure provider such as Helium as a possibility?
Thanks guys!

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Agree with the general sentiment of this idea. Smart Home currently has major acceptance issues mainly because of privacy concerns. If HOPR can be a bridge on leviating such concern along the user it would make smart home adaption much more wide spread.

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I think @Ragws13 has pointed out a very relevant application area here, which we should definitely explore further. I think security is one of the main reasons for the very slow market adoption of smart home. Here’s an attempt to dig deeper into the topic.

In the smart home context, there are three main security risks for the user: 1) Identity Theft, 2) Spying and Monitoring from hackers hacking the smart home network, 3) Data Breaches at the cloud providers or smart home platform providers.

Possible solutions:

  1. Nothing to do here for HOPR i think
  2. To prevent this, the data points collected by IoT/sensors must be sent over the HOPR Relay network BEFORE they end up on the internet/smart home network (for example by being uploaded via WLAN/Cellular/NFC/Bluetooth, etc.). Any possibility to do that from a technical point of view?
  3. If 2) does not work, the data must at least not end up personalized on the cloud of the cloud service provider / smart home platform provider. This would mean that when the data leaves the smart home network, it is sent through the HOPR relay network (both relayed and with packet splitting) and then arrives anonymized in the cloud. This way we can prevent the provider from accidentally publishing our personalized data through a data breach or even using it illegally.

Other idea: Would it be technically possible, for example, that everyone with a smart home device simultaneously acts as a relay node and thus contributes to the HOPR network when he is connected to his smart home network?

If you have any feedback, very welcome, especially on the technical side (not really my area of expertise)!


Wow, like it

This looks great, I’m very concerned about the privacy issues of the smart home, especially the overwhelming big data ads

This proposal shares a lot of basics with [Proposal] IoT home security cameras

I believe both present a valid use-case which has an impact on individuals in their private space.