When I did my own home theater PC, a bunch of my friends (who own and love their "smart" TVs) thought I was being unduly Luddite and paranoid. My argument that you can't really know who
is gathering information - or what
information is being gathered - or for what purpose
(s) - was most often countered by them saying: "Look...just because the capability is there
doesn't mean anybody is actually doing any of that."
Well...looks like I wasn't so wrong after all...
This from TechDirt (full article here
Samsung's Smart TVs Are Collecting And Storing Your Private Conversations
from the I-hear-the-secrets-that-you-keep/when-you-talk-by-the-TV dept
Guess who's eavesdropping on you now? It's not some nefarious government agency (although, rest assured, there has been no downturn in surveillance). Nope, it's that smart TV you paid good money for and invited into your home.
The "now" is misleading. Smart TVs have been doing this ever since manufacturers decided customers preferred to order their electronics around orally, rather than using the remote they can never find. And that's just the "eavesdropping" part. Most smart TVs are harvesting plenty of data on top of that, including viewing habits, search terms, browsing history… pretty much anything that makes a TV "smart" is collected and transmitted not just to the manufacturer, but to plenty of unknown third parties. Usually, this information is used to send "relevant ads" to TV owners, as if the several hundred dollars spent on the device wasn't enough of a revenue stream.