Why is privacy-minded Apple putting its new TV app on smart TVs notorious for spying on users?

“Even non-technical viewers are increasingly aware that their smart TVs are spying on them. A BuzzFeed report by Nicole Nguyen detailed to mainstream audiences that smart TVs are a pretty sold bag of bad software and creepy spying policies,” Daniel Eran Dilger writes for Roughly Drafted. “And it’s not by accident or mistake, but quite intentionally by design.”

“Nguyen initially noted that Samsung TVs could be hacked by the CIA to appear to be turned off while they’re actually being used to record conversations in the room,” Dilger writes. “But Smart TVs from LG, Samsung, Sony, and Visio were all designed to track what you’re watching, as are streaming devices including Amazon’s Fire TV, Google’s Chromecast, and Roku. One notable exception, Nguyen added, was that “Apple TV doesn’t collect viewing or search data.””

“Why would Apple be willing to put its TV app — effectively the streaming subset of its Apple TV features — on other makers’ smart TVs that are notorious for spying on users, collecting their data, and uploading it to various collectors, in some cases without any encryption?” Dilger writes. “Rather than joining the surveillance model of smart TV and media stick vendors, Apple is riding the wave of subsidized TV sets to provide a premium alternative that users can opt to pay for as a way out of being spied upon and tracked as a product for advertisers.”

Much more in the full article – recommendedhere.

MacDailyNews Take: When you’re in the TV app, you’re in an oasis of privacy! It truly is “like giving a glass of ice water to somebody in hell.”


  1. I do like the AppleTV and we have one of every TV in the house. The TVs in the bedrooms use the Apple TV exclusively for content since there is no connection.
    For the main TV in the house, the cable box is the dominant provider of content. In addition to the the cable feeds, the box also offers Netflix and Amazon Prime.
    So for me, whilst we still have cable, adding AppleTV to the Comcast cable would be great.
    Having AppleTV on the TV itself would be a nice to have but you still have to switch to another I/O to access it. Sounds like a first world problem but it essentially is a barrier to adoption.

    1. I haven’t had a cable TV connection since about 2008, a couple of years after getting my first Apple TV. It does all I want.

      But I don’t get this article. Apple doesn’t make TVs, so how the hell is it supposed to work unless it’s plugged into a TV? And if they put their TV app on another TV, that doesn’t introduce any new vulnerabilities over what you get when you use an Apple TV box. There’s a third-party TV involved either way. This is just nonsensical garbage.

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