So, China is now playing catch up with
Chinese TV-maker Skyworth has admitted that some of its Android-powered smart televisions shared more data than it agreed to send to a third-party organisation. A statement from the company explains that some of its tellies sent information about owners’ viewing habits to a company called “Gozen Data”. But Skyworth accused …
Vizio sent unencrypted analytics data and frame captures without explaining what use it was going to be put to.
Some models of Samsung TVs may have an always-on camera and microphone, others may make you press a button on the remote before recording from the microphone but all sent microphone recordings to a third party, sent unencrypted data, and have non-existent security.
The best you're going to get are weasel words privacy settings which allegedly give you options which anonymise your data or turn off tracking, but they're still going to slurp.
Best not to plug the damn thing into the Internet.
Best not to plug the damn thing into the Internet.
It's a TV. I don't use streaming services (the broadband out here would have to buffer probably overnight).
My sky box
nags asks me to connect to a router when it is powered on and I never do. It has been connected to a phone line once and only once at initial setup as that is a required step.
It can scan all it wants but as I physically turn my router off when I don't need it, it will be nicely contained within the confines of my home. As my nearest neighbour is about 400 yards away their router sometimes shows up on the list but not very often.
I recently got a new TV which has dozens of apps that splash on the screen at startup, which gets quickly turned off.
To TV manufacturers: If I wanted an internet connected data slurper, I would buy one. Stick to rendering the image.
> Best not to plug the damn thing into the Internet.
I wish it was that easy, but IIRC Samsung got a patent for building a mesh using their TVs to provide upload capabilities even if that particular TV was never plugged in the net. Yep, you pretty much need to either get a dumb TV (which is getting more and more impossible) or jailbreak it and disable most stuff on it.
Beside watching and reporting what you watch (once a second in some cases), some TVs and apps log your email account and IP address (and goddess knows what else). And all protected by the IoT security we know and love. Most will push patches without you knowing it and the patches could reset whatever privacy settings you've managed to find and change.
This issue is just going to get worse because ultimately it is all about money. Money for all the companies in the food chain that can make money by selling data gathered from individuals. There is no regulation other than vague statements about how your data is used, stored kept and shared. What is really bad and needs stamping on (but it won't happen) with an iron fist is the need to sign up to to something just to turn the sodding TV, gadget or whatever on.
That it is now seen as completely acceptable to have microphones and cameras doing nothing more than spy is total shite. What the hell is wrong with a remote control? It uses Infra Red and and just works. Why this obsession with voice control of everything other than the minor detail that it means everything has an active microphone and has to connected to the Internet to work?
The only smart decision is to not connect it.
I want a screen, not an integrated streaming service.
If you want to give additional functionality fine, make a box that connects to the screen, but don't fuck with my screen.
This is something I really don't get. You can buy a stereo system in one block, or you can buy the amplifier, the CD reader, the radio reciever and the speakers of the quality you want all separately and connect them together and this has been the standard for the past fifty years.
If I buy a TV, I still need to be able to hook up the DVD player, an eventual BluRay player, and my good ol' VHS (yes, I still have one and it functions fine). Now, of course, I also need to hook up my ISP's TV box, otherwise I don't get the local channels. So what is the point in connecting the TV on top of all that ?
Yes, I know, money, but I don't see the point for me.
I have a Philips MatchLine Pixel Plus that has been working for two decades now. It looks pretty much like this. It's a beast. It takes two sturdy guys to move it, but it works flawlessly and the image quality is exceptional.
I'm hoping that it will hold out for a while longer because I just know that, when it dies, I'm in for a world of hurt finding a replacement that will not only give me the same or better image quality, but also respect my privacy.
Judging by the above mention of a Samsung mesh patent, "not connecting it" may no longer be sufficient.
My girlfriend got an LG TV that kept complaining it wanted to be connected to the wifi, so I set up a dummy second SSID on her router that can't access the internet. Pointed it at that and it no longer complains while still being unable to reach the internet.
And how long before that stops working...or they set up a whispernet so that they don't necessarily need your Internet connection to send their data?
And as for breaking antennae, how long before that bricks your TV and voids the warranty while you're at it (and they'll be able to get out of it in court because it was your fault for tampering with the machine).
Scroll down.....it says:
"You can even find devices that are offline.
If your missing device can’t connect to the internet, the Find My app can still help you track it down using the Find My network — hundreds of millions of iPhone, iPad and Mac devices around the world. Nearby devices securely send the location of your missing device to iCloud, then you can see where it is in the Find My app. It’s all anonymous and encrypted to protect everyone’s privacy."
The wonders of Bluetooth -- device is "offline", but thanks to the wonders of everyone else's Bluetooth, Apple can still see the device!
More of the same coming to a device near you -- and sooner than you think!
.. from Chinese made devices, i.e. most of them.. I recently installed a Hikvision 'Colorvu' cctv camera, (Western region..), and on setting it up I noticed that the 'privacy mask' function was disabled for a few mS every 15 minutes or so, allowing whatever it was hiding to be seen in plain view. On checking around I discovered at least one other person had spotted it.. A bug? most unlikely - more likely a hangover from an original Chinese market development firmware version.. Needless to say, I would never dream of connecting them to the internet - no way, Pedro. Pass me my tinfoil hat..
Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021