View Full Version : Don't talk in front of your smart TV

02-08-2015, 09:15 PM
Saturday I bought a Samsung Smart TV because I thought my current TV was broke. Brought it home and called DirectTV to walk me through how to set it up. However, before we did that we double checked my current TV and discovered that it was on the wrong input channel. Guessing the channel button was bumped either during cleaning or by a house hunter during one of our Open House days.

So, because my current TV is fine, I returned the Samsung today without even opening the box.

Then, tonight I read this headline:

Today In Creepy Privacy Policies, Samsung’s Eavesdropping TV

As the number of connected devices — aka the Internet of Things, aka the sensornet — proliferates so too does the number of devices leaning on voice recognition technology as an interface to allow for hands free control.
Last fall, for instance, Amazon revealed a connected speaker with a Siri-style assistant (http://techcrunch.com/2014/11/06/amazon-echo/) that can perform tasks like adding items to your ecommerce shopping basket on command. Internet connected ‘smart TVs’ which let couch-potatoes channel-hop by talking at their screen, rather than mashing the buttons of a physical remote control are even more common — despite dubious utility to the user. The clear consumer electronics trajectory is for more devices with embedded ears that can hear what their owners are saying. And, behind those ears, the server-side brains to data-mine our conversations for advertising intelligence.
The potential privacy intrusion of voice-activated services is massive. Samsung, which makes a series of Internet connected TVs, has a supplementary privacy policy covering its Smart TVs (http://www.samsung.com/sg/info/privacy/smarttv.html)which includes the following section on voice recognition (emphasis mine):
You can control your SmartTV, and use many of its features, with voice commands. If you enable Voice Recognition, you can interact with your Smart TV using your voice. To provide you the Voice Recognition feature, some voice commands may be transmitted (along with information about your device, including device identifiers) to a third-party service that converts speech to text or to the extent necessary to provide the Voice Recognition features to you. In addition, Samsung may collect and your device may capture voice commands and associated texts so that we can provide you with Voice Recognition features and evaluate and improve the features. 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 through your use of Voice Recognition.

As an Electronic Frontier Foundation activist pointed out earlier today, via Twitter, the concept of a TV screen that might be snooping on your private conversations — and thus broadcasting a chilling effect by inculcating self-censorship within its viewers — is straight out of George Orwell’s 1984:


Kinda makes me sick to my stomach....

02-08-2015, 10:05 PM
you know i'm with you here sassy
but i can almost hear some say stuff like..

just don't own a TV then...
just don't fly then...
just don't look at police the wrong way then...

just don't...


Xbox home surveillance now a reality with Homevue HD
September 2014
The Xbox can finally spy on your thanks to the Homevue HD video surveillance system.

<article> Microsoft including a Kinect with the Xbox One in the past caused quite a stir for those who believed their privacy was being invaded. Instead of having your Xbox spy on you, why don’t you have it spy on others within your home with the Homevue HD Video Surveillance System for Xbox.
The Homevue was specially designed for Xbox owners to stay connected with anything they’d like to keep tabs on within their own home. The home video surveillance system connects to your Xbox via plug and play, allowing users to turn on their Xbox and view their camera through the Homevue app. The camera sends HD footage securely to Smartvue’s cloud and can be accessed either through your Xbox or remotely from any computer or smart device around the world. You don’t even need to have your Xbox powered on in order to view footage from the Homevue.
</article>creepy but benign right?

...Did you play an Xbox 360 between 2008 and 2010? Big Brother was almost watching you. Documents revealed by U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden, 30, suggest British surveillance agency Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), along with the National Security Agency, considered using Microsoft’s Xbox 360 Kinect camera to spy on users. The files were dated between 2008 and 2010, when a surveillance initiative called Optic Nerve collected photos of online users through Yahoo’s webcam chat service....Optic Nerve intercepted and filed away webcam images of millions of online users, according to leaked documents. The documents stated millions of images were stored via Yahoo webcams to agency databases, even if individuals weren’t suspected of legal wrongdoing.
In one six-month timeframe during 2008, the agency allegedly collected images from more than 1.8 million Yahoo users around the world, reported the Guardian. (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/27/gchq-nsa-webcam-images-internet-yahoo) Webcams would take photos every five minutes and send the images to the GCHQ database....

The NSA also spied on Facebook, Google, Yahoo and Twitter activity with the help of intelligence system PRISM, a software program used to examine data like emails, videos and online chats. Industry experts predicted the tech mega giants could lose billions of dollars over the next several years if clients and consumers decide to employ alternative services that don’t violate their privacy. Many Internet companies alerted Congress of this possibility, calling for President Obama to take another look at the government's surveillance activities.
In January (http://www.ibtimes.com/nsa-spying-apps-angry-birds-does-surveillance-violate-civil-liberties-1549911#.UugY6F2N-T4.twitter), more documents revealed the NSA and GCHQ were also tapping well-known smartphone apps and games like Rovio’s “Angry Birds” to peer into the vast collection of personal data compiled by the software from its users. Data includes personal details such as age, location, gender and even sexual preferences, reported the New York Times. (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/28/world/spy-agencies-scour-phone-apps-for-personal-data.html?_r=1) Various reports detailed attempts to amass large amounts of personal information from users via cell phone carriers and smartphones by utilizing “leaky” apps.
“When a smartphone user opens 'Angry Birds,' the popular game application, and starts slinging birds at chortling green pigs, spies could be lurking in the background to snatch data revealing the player’s location, age, sex and other personal information,” the New York Times reported on Jan. 27. ....


02-08-2015, 10:16 PM

02-08-2015, 10:19 PM
Looks like it's not just TV's

<header style="box-sizing: border-box; padding-top: 24px; padding-bottom: 24px; font-family: FCKaiserCond, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 14px;">WITH NEW SMART HOME APPLIANCES, SAMSUNG DOUBLES DOWN ON INTERNET OF THINGS


BY LUKE DORMEHL (http://www.fastcolabs.com/user/luke-dormehl)
</header>At this year's Consumer Electronics show, Samsung (http://www.fastcompany.com/company/samsung) pledged to spend $100 million to develop an open framework through which connected devices (http://www.fastcompany.com/explore/open-framework-through-which-connected-devices) like cars, fitness trackers, and home appliances can communicate. Today the company revealed more of its Internet of Things ambitions, with the announcement of three new product lines—including smart refrigerators, air conditioners, and washing machines—that should help Samsung gain a stronger foothold in the connected-device market.