Is Your TV Watching You?

Discussion in 'privacy general' started by lotuseclat79, Feb 13, 2014.

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  1. lotuseclat79

    lotuseclat79 Registered Member

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  2. siljaline

    siljaline Former Poster

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  3. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    The original article really lost all credibility when the author sad this:
    He's pretty clueless in my opinion if he thinks a PC virus getting on a network is going to infect his Kindle and iPod. Also, I highly doubt the claim of "hundreds of viral trojan horse programs." Quite possibly the program in question was identified as being a potentially unwanted program (not a trojan) and there were hundreds of files and registry keys which the program created and were identified by his antivirus.

    As for being watched by TVs, I don't know what to make of this, as I'm sure it could happen, but not sure it actually does. In any case, it's not an issue for me as my TV is not connected to the internet, has no webcam and is not a smart TV.
     
  4. Nebulus

    Nebulus Registered Member

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    No, it isn't. Because it doesn't have the means to do it :)
     
  5. SirDrexl

    SirDrexl Registered Member

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    So that doesn't just happen in Mother Russia?
     
  6. Dave0291

    Dave0291 Registered Member

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    Nope, these days Russia learns from the U.S :D
     
  7. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    Let's keep it clean!

    No talking **** about peoples mothers!
     
  8. siljaline

    siljaline Former Poster

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    Password leak in WeMo devices makes home appliances susceptible to hijacks -
    http://arstechnica.com/security/201...makes-home-appliances-susceptible-to-hijacks/
     
  9. mattdocs12345

    mattdocs12345 Registered Member

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    No. I don't have a TV. And when and if I do get one it won't be able to watch me. It won't have a webcam. If for some miracle it does come with a camera then I will cover it with a black tape.
     
  10. noone_particular

    noone_particular Registered Member

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    I can somewhat understand why some people would want a smart TV that can integrate with other entertainment technology. That said, I can't see a decent reason for integrating the lights, heating system, etc into it. There's no need to change thermostat settings remotely or turn on lights in empty rooms. If it's to compensate for their not remembering to turn off lights or turn down the heat before they leave, they'd be better served with a reminder app that alerts them when they go out the door. For household appliances like the refrigerator or hot water heater, I see no good reason for them to have internet ability at all. A hot water tank that fully recharges during off peak hours is sensible, but doesn't require access to the internet to accomplish this. A simple timer will do.

    Somewhere along the line "It would be cool to be able to do this remotely" got changed into "We need to be able to do these things remotely". If one is concerned with energy usage, they should be shutting off devices or the lights when they're done using them, not as an afterthought at some later time. Remote control is useful for some things, like warming up your car when it's 20º below zero. For other things it's completely unnecessary and just wastes material and resources.

    Regarding "smart TVs" in general, I won't have one. If it was completely up to me, there wouldn't be a TV in this house. Unfortunately, that would start a war with others here who are addicted to watching reruns all day.
     
  11. safeguy

    safeguy Registered Member

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    I own a "Smart TV" that has no webcam. I have yet to connect it to the internet. I am just too smart.
     
  12. Kirk Reynolds

    Kirk Reynolds Registered Member

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    Yes, my TV was watching me other day. I was watching the news and then all of the sudden the commentator started talking to me and complimenting me on my living room furniture.

    It turned out to be all for naught, though. I realized that I had drank too much cough syrup that morning...
     
  13. wtsinnc

    wtsinnc Registered Member

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    If my TV is watching me it's probably as bored as I get watching the TV.
     
  14. DoctorPC

    DoctorPC Banned

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    I have a 42" Sony Bravia LCD in the media room. Recently I upgraded to a 55" Samsung LED Smart. I gotta say the technology advancements in these is remarkable. The picture is an amazing upgrade over the Bravia LCD. Not to mention the fast Dual Core processor, and enhancements to color/sound/light that it brings.. Just remarkable.

    Connected to WiFi so we can use Pandora, or watch Netflix right through it. I'm a privacy/security nut as much as the next guy, but no way am I going to continue to be a paranoid luddite. Enjoyment of things really suffers when you are that way.
     
  15. noone_particular

    noone_particular Registered Member

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    If I'm a luddite for not wanting a smart TV to watch sewage disguised as entertainment, so be it.
     
  16. Nebulus

    Nebulus Registered Member

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    Or maybe I found better and more meaningful ways to spend my money instead of buying useless technology. The quality of the TV programs is not going to improve by using a "smart" TV - a "dumb" one seems to be good enough :)
     
  17. TheWindBringeth

    TheWindBringeth Registered Member

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    So what can you tell us about the communications you saw when you analyzed the device's network traffic? You kept some notes on that, right?
     
  18. Baserk

    Baserk Registered Member

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    So with a Samsung Smart TV, you won't risk having an 'LG' pulled on you, where all attached usb devices are scanned for file names and then sent to Samsung unencrypted?
    How is their policy regarding info collection on what you view, when you view and how long you view?
     
  19. emmjay

    emmjay Registered Member

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    Originally Posted by DoctorPC
    I have a 42" Sony Bravia LCD in the media room. Recently I upgraded to a 55" Samsung LED Smart. ... Connected to WiFi

    Does your new TV have a history file and can you see what is in it? Sending you this link as it refers to the LG situation in case you are not aware of it.

    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=359223&highlight=smart

    Maybe Samsung is smarter than LG and they got the Privacy right.
     
  20. DoctorPC

    DoctorPC Banned

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    Samsung seems pretty upfront.

    Under 'Privacy' I have all 'consent' checkboxes unchecked, thus excluding me from accepting any privacy policy from Samsung, or any partners. Also there are checkboxes to have 'relevant' things pushed, those are unchecked, and privacy policies not agreed to. To send data to Samsung requires a Samsung account, which I have not signed up for, or tied to the TV. All of that is greyed out simply because it's not active. But it doesn't impact Smart features, or TV performance. Viewing history isn't logged because I have the TV set to 'passthrough' from my DVR. However there is an option to purge history, which is always ticked.

    DVR's are TIVO, under settings, administration, if you page way down there are OPT-IN or OPT-OUT. You cannot toggle these from the device, and must contact support via phone. They will then flag your account for a single OPT-OUT. But you need to escalate the call to a supervisor, and say (these exact words) "I want total exclusion, full OPT-OUT of all metrics". (Full opt-out is the code word) To do this they have to manually edit your account settings. (this can take up to 20 minutes on the phone) Once this happens your account, your TIVO boxes, are permanently disabled for all tracking/monitoring/relevantads/pushes. But it cannot be reversed, as once you re-download, it actually disables the tracking mechanism in the device firmware. (I tried to reverse it, and it was not possible)

    You need to verify full-opt-out via Tivo website AND devices AND talking to a supervisor. Your account should say;

    Privacy status: Opt-Out
    Analytics status: Opt-Out

    If you aren't fully opted out, it will say;

    Privacy status: Opt-In
    For Analytics Opt Out: call
    us at: 1-877-367-8486
     
  21. DoctorPC

    DoctorPC Banned

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    Not wanting to go off tangent too much, but it's related to this whole smart tv stuff.

    Tivo acquired TRA Inc.
    http://venturebeat.com/2012/07/17/tivo-tv-analytics/

    Basically what they want to do is match your buying habits, based off other mined data (Shopping cards, coupon cards, Buyers clubs, etc) with your TV viewing track record, and create a super huge google-like database.

    The vast majority of Tivo customers haven't opted out for this, so they are opted in. It is strongly recommended that you call Tivo and use the code word 'full opt-out'.. They will try to convince you otherwise, saying the Tivo won't work as good, you will lose features, etc. It's all hogwash, it doesn't impact the core functionality as Tivo being a very very friendly DVR with a great program guide. None of that changes, Tivo is garbage for anything else IMO. After this is done you need to manually set your Tivo to redownload, then check the Opt setting in the Settings/Administration menu. Sometimes it takes a few hours, and sometimes you need to call them back again.

    Privacy isn't an easy road these days.. o_O
     
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