Privacy Concerns: Is Big Brother… err, Samsung, Watching You?

Does an interactive TV with a built-in webcam and microphones sound like a great idea to you? Samsung is releasing advanced LED HDTVs with new features including a built-in camera with microphones, face recognition, voice command and Internet access. Pretty cool, right? Maybe, if you’re not concerned with privacy that is.

Privacy Concerns for Samsung TVs

Photo: http://ak.buy.com/PI/0/1000/219976839.jp

While these new features look great on paper for streamlining your television and computer needs into one device, the truth of the matter is that these features are actually raising privacy concerns among experts and consumers alike. The reality is that there is no way to turn off the camera or microphones manually.

Yes, Samsung says you can download software to disable these devices, or one can manually adjust the camera to face the ceiling, as opposed to facing viewers. However, there is no way to indicate to users whether or not the devices are in use, such as a red light near the camera, which makes the camera appear to be one big privacy concern to many.

With Samsung not exactly making disabling these devices user-friendly, there is concern that Samsung or Samsung-affiliated companies, or worse, third party hackers using apps, will have easy access to watch and listen to everything happening in your living room.

What are the biggest potential privacy and security questions the Samsung TV poses?

  1. Is it possible for people or companies to listen to or watch you through the microphone, camera and Internet connection?
  2. Does Samsung combine separate piles of information? For instance, do they match a user ID or a facial scan to warranty registration information to more personal information, like your name or address?
  3. Through the built-in Facebook app, can the TV access your own Facebook account to match other viewers to their pages, thus collecting even more personal data?

What can Samsung do to ease worries?

  1. Reveal what operating system these Smart TVs use and how safe it is against hackers.
  2. Clarify any outside entities (those not in your home), if any, who have access to use the camera or microphone.
  3. Inform users if any of the data collected is encrypted.

To check out the original article from Techlicious, please visit: http://www.techlicious.com/blog/is-your-tv-watching-you-latest-models-raise-concerns/

But, before you go, think about this and let us know your thoughts in a comment below: Would you feel like your information and identity would be secure using these new Samsung TVs?


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