“I’ve long felt the Internet of Things would be a tricky sell for a number of reasons, security and privacy being chief among them,” Andy Patrizio reports for NetworkWorld. “People may not like having so many aspects of their lives connected to the internet, whether it’s out of fear of being hacked or the intrusive nature of the companies behind the products.”
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.
Patrizio reports, “He did not name the brand, but both LG and Samsung are known for this kind of intrusiveness.”
More info and links in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: When we were very young and impressionable, we believed Mr. Rogers when he intimated that he could see us in our living room through the TV. Future generations might never have to give up that belief; it might just turn out to be true.
Let’s be careful out there.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Brian” for the heads up.]