Sunday, November 2, 2014

Terrorized... Really... By A ‘Smart’ TV

James Hepburn at Daily Kos has the particulars. The essence lies in the extensive 46-page privacy notice that comes with the TV, though "lack-of-privacy notice" might be a better term for it, coupled with some tracking technology from Hell. Hepburn quotes an article at Salon by Michael Price of the Brennan Center at NYU:

You would be [terrified to turn the TV on] too — if you read through the 46-page privacy policy.

The amount of data this thing collects is staggering. It logs where, when, how and for how long you use the TV. It sets tracking cookies and beacons designed to detect “when you have viewed particular content or a particular email message.” It records “the apps you use, the websites you visit, and how you interact with content.” It ignores “do-not-track” requests as a considered matter of policy.

It also has a built-in camera — with facial recognition. The purpose is to provide “gesture control” for the TV and enable you to log in to a personalized account using your face. On the upside, the images are saved on the TV instead of uploaded to a corporate server. On the downside, the Internet connection makes the whole TV vulnerable to hackers who have demonstrated the ability to take complete control of the machine.

More troubling is the microphone. The TV boasts a “voice recognition” feature that allows viewers to control the screen with voice commands. But the service comes with a rather ominous warning: “Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party.” Got that? Don’t say personal or sensitive stuff in front of the TV.

(Bolds mine. - SB)

There is a reason I keep my copy of Orwell's 1984 near my left hand...

Notice that much of the spying potential of such a TV is of use more to Wall Street, corporations and vendors than to government. Not that gummint wouldn't make use of it as well...

Fortunately, Stella's new TV is not "smart"; such things are out of our budget range. But it's only a matter of time before Orwell's vision of a TV that watches you is a reality in every household... if indeed the back-end hasn't already been implemented secretly. In any case, you might want to get in the habit right now of watching politically sensitive events on an older TV in a room well away from your newest, fanciest TV.

I believe the very newest TVs are capable of being powered by Orwell spinning in his grave...

No comments:

Post a Comment


• Click here to view existing comments.
• Or enter your new rhyme or reason
in the new comment box here.
• Or click the first Reply link below an existing
comment or reply and type in the
new reply box provided.
• Scrolling manually up and down the page
is also OK.

Static Pages (About, Quotes, etc.)

No Police Like H•lmes