Pipe 2WZP Big brother in your TV?

Big brother in your TV?

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in security on (#2WZP)
Should we be concerned about this report about Samsung voice activation sending all conversations the TV 'hears' to undisclosed third parties? Even if they did say who their third party service provider was, what assurance is there that voice control systems which involve uploading voice commands to remote servers (Siri included) couldn't be used for surveillance covertly?

History

2015-02-11 19:52
Samsung, the big brother inside your TV?
evilviper@pipedot.org
Shoamsuldng is we bearning custoncmerneds about discussing personal information in front of their smart television set. The warning applies to TV viewers who control their Samsung Smart TV using its this report about Samsung voice activation sfending all conversatioure. Whens the feature is active, such TV 'hsearts' "listen" to what is said and may share what they hear with Samsundisclosedg or third parties? Even, it said. Privacy campaigners said the technology smacked of they dtelescreens, idn George Orwell'say 1984, which spied on citizens. Samsung has issued a statement that emphasized their third party servoice precognition feature is activated using the TV's remote controvl.

Should P
ipedot readers was,be wconcerned? What assurance is there that voice control systems which involve uploading voice commands to remote servers (Siri included) couldn't be used for surveillance covertly, as the FBI started doing with OnStar in General Motors vehicles over a decade ago? Samsung is not the first maker of a smart, net-connected TV to run into problems with the data the set collects. In late 2013, a UK IT consultant found his LG TV was gathering information about his viewing habits.

Today, users of Samsung's Smart TVs are also complaining that advertisements are being inserted into their own videos, without their permission. “Every movie I play, 20-30 minutes in it plays the Pepsi ad. It has happened on 6 movies today.” In a statement, a Samsung spokesperson said that the ad placement in third-party apps was a mistake, and that the issue only affected customers in Australia.
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Not me... (Score: 1)

by elijah@pipedot.org on 2015-02-09 21:00 (#2WZT)

Let's forget about the security implications of something like this. We for the most part know that if it can be a listening device, it will be. Applies to all technology in this area, whether the information is secure is up to the company.

Let's instead look at who exactly should be afraid: the users of voice activation with their television.

Should we as a community be afraid? I'm not.

I will never spend my money on a television with over-sensationalized, fad technology. The market is pushing speech recognition before it's truly a pragmatic solution for everyday problems. Have there been strides made in the technology? Absolutely. It's developed into a wonderful tool, but it's still not at the point where I can justify speech when I could have pressed a button. I don't think any of this really makes my life easier at this point, especially as the article says, and I quote:
Samsung has issued a statement to clarify how voice activation works. It emphasised that the voice recognition feature is activated using the TV's remote control.
Essentially, I would need to pick up the remote... to use something intended to serve as a replacement for the remote.

In short, I'm not afraid of my television being used for covert surveillance, mostly because I don't see it at a stage where it's practical for either party. It could give some data, or even intelligence to a listening ear, but for the most part I don't consider this a risk in the first place.