Is Your Smart TV Watching You?

watching1Yes, at least according to this article posted in November last year by https://arstechnica.com – and your TV is not the only device that does!  That information makes me nervous – hopefully making everyone a bit nervous.  A worthwhile read for everyone who owns any type of “smart” device, and your “reasonable expectation of privacy” may not be so reasonable….The article gives a great insight into how all these great technologies could be working against you and your own personal security – from the voice recognition on your phone to some default settings on your TV that you weren’t even aware of.

It also goes on to suggest that this technology could be used to access other devices that you may access from these deices, like your thermostat, open your garage door, or turn off your home security system.

It goes on to explain that LG and Samsung model televisions only track your viewing habits, but unlike Vizio, they don’t appear to provide the information in a form that allows advertisers to reach users on other devices.  Vizio reportedly also sells this info to others.

watching2Vizio recently updated its privacy policy to say it has begun providing data about customers’ viewing habits to companies that “may combine this information with other information about devices associated with that IP address” – that means phones and computers.   But the company does not promise to encrypt IP addresses before sharing them.

Cable TV companies and video rental companies are prohibited by law from selling information about the viewing habits of their customers. However, Vizio says that those laws—the Video Privacy Protection Act and cable subscriber protections—don’t apply to its business.

The good news is that these settings can be changed, but it may take some digging – and maybe a call to the manufacturer – to find out how to “opt-out” of the tracker settings.

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