Man ‘afraid’ of using his smart tv after reading its privacy policy

Discussion in 'privacy general' started by Veeshush, Nov 1, 2014.

  1. Veeshush

    Veeshush Registered Member

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    https://news.yahoo.com/man-owns-smart-tv-says-afraid-using-reading-014529097.html
     
  2. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Cameras and microphones can be disabled (tape, epoxy, hot glue, etc). And access to unwanted hosts can be blocked through firewall rules in the LAN router.
     
  3. Veeshush

    Veeshush Registered Member

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    Of course that no one should have to resort to that stuff to begin with and that well over 9/10ths the people who'll own such devices won't have a clue their privacy is being invaded or will have any idea of the ways to get around it. As I parrot a lot around here: the whole "as long as it doesn't inconvenience the consumer in an obvious way" hidden tactics of it all really makes me sick. :gack:
     
  4. anotherPackerFan

    anotherPackerFan Registered Member

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    In this instance, I can't see how he didn't know what he was getting into, and could have, and I would say SHOULD have, voted with his wallet. We all trade what we are willing to accept from different products and services, and when people accept something like this it lends credibility to the mfr giving the consumer what they want.

    Regardless, it's true he could easily control what information gets sent outside of his network, if his ISP allows for him to bring his own router/modem, or if the modem/router allows that. I know that some ISP's have begun experimenting with forcing users onto certain modems or routers approved by the ISP. See here for an interesting link:
    http://www.komonews.com/news/local/...lock-with-latest-Comcast-modem-281330431.html

    I got a letter about it from comcast a while back informing me that I should upgrade my modem to one of theirs for better acccess, even though I have a pretty new modem. One problem they want to eliminate is that when a consumer has a DDWRT router, and has problems with it, so instead of troubleshoot it themselves, they call comcast. The easiest way for comcast, or any other general service provider to deal with such, is to disallow access to the network by such devices, and remove the problem entirely.

    You know what you're getting with a "smart" TV though.
     
  5. Minimalist

    Minimalist Registered Member

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    I don't understand why he bought smart TV if he is privacy cautious. If I would have to buy TV now, I would definitely buy one that has no internet access possible. They still make them, or don't they?
     
  6. TairikuOkami

    TairikuOkami Registered Member

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    No, they do not, if you want a high quality TV, smart TV is the only choice.
    Not really, new TVs have cameras built into the screen, to improve user's experience, more like, it can not be simply taped over. Microphones will follow soon.
     
  7. Minimalist

    Minimalist Registered Member

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    So then only option is to never let it connect to internet (never connect to WiFi and hoping that your neighbors will never "share" open WiFi connection).
     
  8. TairikuOkami

    TairikuOkami Registered Member

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    If possible to disable, but they sure hide it well, like with LG, you have to set the network to wired to disabled automatic wi-fi connection.
     
  9. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Given the quality of programing the idea of a smart tv almost makes me laugh
     
  10. badsector

    badsector Registered Member

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    i'd say... buy a pc monitor... higher refresh rate and higher picture quality at low cost... and ofcourse no camera and mic... now just get a stand alone tv box... or your digital tv box might even work just plug and pray :3
     
  11. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    It's been decades since I had a TV. I have the Internet. There's virtually nothing on TV worth watching, and if something comes along, I can get it online.
     
  12. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    But, if you never connect to a wifi network in the first place, you won't have this issue.
     
  13. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    I've never head of that. Have you got any links to support that claim?
     
  14. SirDrexl

    SirDrexl Registered Member

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    What network will it connect to though? Surely you would have to give it the name and passkey for the network first, right? Unless they do something nefarious like make a deal with a wireless carrier to hop on their 3G/4G network.

    I would say to just disable it, but I'm not sure what features you miss out on by not connecting. I would think that only the apps that need the network would be out, but I saw 3D mentioned in the article. I would be furious if an offline feature was held back if I didn't want to agree to their policy.

    Although I don't know, are these smart TVs really worse than a standalone streaming box like a Roku device or Amazon Fire TV? I guess the TV has the potential to collect more data since it can track what channels of OTA TV you watch and how much time you use the HDMI inputs, but otherwise I wonder if they're any more nosy than the boxes.
     
  15. Minimalist

    Minimalist Registered Member

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    If your neighbors are sharing open WiFi it would not need any password. It could just connect to that network and be on-line. They could build-in auto connect to network option for "convenience" reason.
    But that's just my speculation...
     
  16. TairikuOkami

    TairikuOkami Registered Member

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    Yes, that is not a speculation, manufacturers want to make it as easy as possible and free wifi networks are quite common these days, even private unencrypted.
     
  17. TheWindBringeth

    TheWindBringeth Registered Member

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    Theoretically, they could even contract with Cable WiFi providers to hop on to one of their hotspots/networks. A brief, once week or month or N months, in the middle of the night, connection would probably be sufficient to phone home certain types of consumer surveillance data [when there is no better way to do so].

    It would be wise to perform some long running WiFi captures and/or other radio related testing to make sure the radio interfaces are truly disabled and remain disabled.
     
  18. anotherPackerFan

    anotherPackerFan Registered Member

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    It's perhaps even easier than that. As the ISP's begin limiting the use of bring your own device-cable modem/router for their own, a hotspot is now built into a lot of the devices, meant for other comcast customers.
    http://arstechnica.com/information-...your-xfinity-modem-into-public-wi-fi-hotspot/
    It's become known for now, but lets say at some point they make the networks silent (not broadcasting their address), so your phone/ computer doesn't see it without running special SW. This makes it really convenient, as the consumer doesn't know his modem/router is running a separate hotspot, and any entity looking to connect, really only needs to know the name of the wifi and password, if there is one (or in the case of the ISPs hotspot machines, perhaps its just a generic one).

    But more than that, it is unlikely that the smart TV will work (app wise) without internet access. Perhaps these first few generations of smart TV's will provide some functions, but at some point they will want the data.

    It will also be very hard to prevent it from connecting to an outside network. These were designed to be connected by default, not to be a standalone set. It's likely the default setting for the TV will be to look for all open wifi AP's, find one open, call home, get info (date, time, location, ...), then register with the user. Similar in fashion to how most newer cell phones will scan and attempt to connect to different networks without questioning the end user. ( I found this out while tethering my device to my laptop, and running wireshark. I found that there are AP's along the Interstate, near many of the surveillance cameras in use, and my phone was attempting to connect with each one of these AP's, I assume to just get the W's, but occasionally it would try to connect, and it would knock my connection offline).

    So the user may have the TV wifi disabled during the initial setup, or to be wired LAN only. But lets say the power goes out at 3am. Many MFR's use reset circumstances such as these to connect, and get updates (updates are essentially the "save the children" excuse for connections). So unless you design some type of RF block and set it next to your TV, I surmise that it will become harder and harder to prevent such connections.
     
  19. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Just say no ;)
     
  20. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    These days pretty much all wifi networks are password protected. Even if a network was not password protected, you would be asked before connecting to it.
     
  21. Minimalist

    Minimalist Registered Member

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    Are you sure that ALL devices are so nice to ask you before they connect to open WiFi?
     
  22. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    I've never seen any device which can connect automatically to an unknown network. To assume that a device is going to connect to an unknown open network automatically in a desperate attempt to gain network access and share you private informantion is just paranoia in my opinion.
     
  23. Maldoran

    Maldoran Registered Member

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    https://www.komplett.no/search?q=public display

    Found these. They don`t look so smart while still being FHD.
    Description for some of them are in english.
     
  24. wtsinnc

    wtsinnc Registered Member

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    I wonder if it really matters if the TV is a "smart" TV.
    Most users use some sort of set-top box be it for cable, satellite, or a streaming device such as Roku and all are in some way interactive with the content provider(s) as well as the end user.
    Isn't it logical to assume that smart TV or not, you can be tracked and your viewing habits logged by someone, somewhere when connected via any set-top device ?
     
  25. Veeshush

    Veeshush Registered Member

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    Right, but it is adding insult to injury.
     
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