Tuesday, March 20, 2012

FutureWatch: Your Next TV May Watch You

via the HD Guru...
Artist's conception. Not really Samsung.
Samsung’s 2012 top-of-the-line plasmas and LED HDTVs offer new features never before available within a television including a built-in, internally wired HD camera, twin microphones, face tracking and speech recognition.  

While these features give you unprecedented control over an HDTV, the devices themselves, more similar than ever to a personal computer, may allow hackers or even Samsung to see and hear you and your family, and collect extremely personal data.

And unlike other TVs, which have cameras and microphones as add-on accessories connected by a single, easily removable USB cable, you can’t just unplug these sensors.

Privacy concerns
We began to wonder exactly what data Samsung collects from its new “eyes and ears” and how it and other companies intend use it, which raises the following questions:

* Can Samsung or Samsung-authorized companies watch you watching your Samsung TV? 
* Do the televisions send a user ID or the TV’s serial number to the Samsung cloud whenever it has an Internet connection? 
* Does Samsung cross reference a user ID or facial scan to your warranty registration information, such as name, address etc.? 
* Can a person or company listen to you, at will, via the microphone and Internet connection? 
* Does Samsung’s cloud store all this information? How secure is this extremely personal data? 
* Can a hacker intercept this data or view you via the built in camera? 
* Can a third-party app program do any of the above? 
* Exactly what information does the TV send to Samsung or other parties? 
* Does Samsung intend to sell data collected by its Smart TV owners, such as who, what and when one is viewing? (more)