Linked by Howard Fosdick on Fri 30th Mar 2012 22:21 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes HD Guru writes that new HDTVs now have all the hardware (webcams, audio mics, Internet connectivity) and software (facial and speech recognition, etc) to make them ideal for data collection on those watching. Samsung, the article's focus, does not disclose what OS its new HDTVs use, making it hard to judge whether they are secure from hacking. A follow-up article prints Samsung's privacy statement along with evaluation by Gary Merson of HD Guru.
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Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 30th Mar 2012 22:29 UTC
Thom_Holwerda
Member since:
2005-06-29

I crapped my pants when I realised my brand new Sony Bravia used a small camera and facial recognition to determine whether I was sitting too close and whether I was in front of the TV (so it could turn off for eco reasons bullshit).

Really fcuking creepy.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by Morgan on Fri 30th Mar 2012 23:38 UTC in reply to "Comment by Thom_Holwerda"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Doubly so, given it's Sony. But these days, you really can't trust any hardware vendors. I'm glad my TV is a cheap Vzon with a basic feature set; the picture is nice and it has enough inputs and outputs in the formats I use.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by somebody on Sat 31st Mar 2012 04:29 UTC in reply to "Comment by Thom_Holwerda"
somebody Member since:
2005-07-07

well... it can watch me for what i care. i'd never even think of plugging ethernet cable into tv.

and there is always ability to tape over lens.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by ssokolow on Sat 31st Mar 2012 05:52 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Thom_Holwerda"
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

And if it has WiFi connectivity and you have neighbors with an unsecured network and taping over the lens makes it refuse to show video because the tape is sitting too close to the screen to be healthy?

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by somebody on Sat 31st Mar 2012 19:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Thom_Holwerda"
somebody Member since:
2005-07-07

i'd simply return that tv. or never bought it at all since it has features i don't like.

it's not like you can only buy single tv model;) you can simply buy the one that agrees with your preferences

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by andih on Sat 31st Mar 2012 20:32 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Thom_Holwerda"
andih Member since:
2010-03-27

If Id plug an ethernet cable into my tv, I would have to install system my self, to be sure whats running on it. Debian Wheezy e.g.

I dont run anything* that I dont administer my self and know how it is working ;)

My nas, wireless ap, router, computers, all are running some kind of open source linux. Mostly debians..

* - the tv decoder is the only exception. That one I didnt install myself.. I never watch tv anyways, so Ill probably not going to bother replacing it.. Its not connected to internet either.

I have quite a lot of fun using open source solutions ;) And its more secure.

Edited 2012-03-31 20:34 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by MOS6510 on Sat 31st Mar 2012 05:58 UTC in reply to "Comment by Thom_Holwerda"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

Just put some tape over the camera.

I have 2 Sony TVs, two pieces of tape, done.

It's a very nice "fix", because it just as easy to remove the tape again to get the camera working again.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by Gooberslot on Sat 31st Mar 2012 07:06 UTC in reply to "Comment by Thom_Holwerda"
Gooberslot Member since:
2006-08-02

Can you turn that crap off? I wouldn't want a TV that decides by itself whether it should be on or not.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by Thom_Holwerda on Sat 31st Mar 2012 12:40 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Thom_Holwerda"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Can you turn that crap off? I wouldn't want a TV that decides by itself whether it should be on or not.


Yeah, I turned it all off. Still creepy though.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by fran on Sat 31st Mar 2012 14:41 UTC in reply to "Comment by Thom_Holwerda"
fran Member since:
2010-08-06

Too late, Thom raw and uncut has already gone viral

Reply Score: 9

RE: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by WereCatf on Mon 2nd Apr 2012 06:48 UTC in reply to "Comment by Thom_Holwerda"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

There was an article about this just recently on Slashdot and Samsung was quite non-surprisingly boasting that they do not track their users and so on. But well, that's not the issue as far as I see, the issue is that usually these kinds of proprietary plug-in-and-turn-on devices have atrocious security features and are easy as heck to get into; someone with malicious intent can just observe the datastream, figure out how to control the camera and start monitoring people, eavesdropping on them, check if the apartment is empty so they can break in, and so on.

It's really not the manufacturers that I am wary of, it's their non-existant security that I am wary of.

Reply Score: 4

Black Electric Tape
by jburnett on Sat 31st Mar 2012 00:33 UTC
jburnett
Member since:
2012-03-29

What happens when you block the camera on your TV? Does it refuse to turn on? If not, I'm thinking there is a whole new use for black electric tape or some nice silver duct tape.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Black Electric Tape
by CapEnt on Sat 31st Mar 2012 02:17 UTC in reply to "Black Electric Tape"
CapEnt Member since:
2005-12-18

The TV will say "Hello, Dave", and congratulate that you figured how to neutralize his evil powers, something that two astronauts failed inside Discovery One.

From this point, its better to return the unit to your preferred local store, since sleeping with on will never be safe anymore.

Reply Score: 3

TV has Facebook app too
by benali72 on Sat 31st Mar 2012 00:59 UTC
benali72
Member since:
2008-05-03

Ah, it has an embedded Facebook app, too. That's what my TV needs!

Reply Score: 2

Waiting
by gan17 on Sat 31st Mar 2012 01:49 UTC
gan17
Member since:
2008-06-03

*waits for "In Soviet Russia...." jokes*

Reply Score: 5

RE: Waiting
by Soulbender on Sat 31st Mar 2012 03:40 UTC in reply to "Waiting"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

In capitalist west TV watches YOU!

Reply Score: 13

RE[2]: Waiting
by nej_simon on Sat 31st Mar 2012 10:40 UTC in reply to "RE: Waiting"
nej_simon Member since:
2011-02-11

I think we have a new kind of jokes going here!

In soviet russia, the government controls the corporations.
In capitalist west ...etc.

Reply Score: 6

1984, anyone?
by Alfman on Sat 31st Mar 2012 01:58 UTC
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nineteen_Eighty-Four#Surveillance

"The inhabitants of Oceania, particularly the party members, have no real privacy. Many of them live in apartments equipped with two-way telescreens, so that they may be watched or listened to at any time. Similar telescreens are found at workstations and in public places, along with hidden microphones."

Reply Score: 11

RE: 1984, anyone?
by Doc Pain on Sun 1st Apr 2012 09:55 UTC in reply to "1984, anyone?"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

Exactly what my first thought was. First TV educated me about 1984, now it assumes I'm too stupid to remember the lesson I've learned? :-)

FACE TO TELESCREEN. YOU'VE BEEN LOOKING OUT OF THE WINDOW FOR 90 SECONDS, WHAT ARE YOU DOING THERE?

Together with "mild" forms of newspeak developing in many languages, we're en route for BB.

Reply Score: 3

Missed opportunity
by jburnett on Sat 31st Mar 2012 04:06 UTC
jburnett
Member since:
2012-03-29

Too bad there isn't a way to link the camera to the blu-ray java engine. There could be some interesting applications (yes, even outside of the adult industry). Camera-interactive programming may be available on xbox and ps3, but development licenses are really expensive for those platforms. And we do not interact with laptops/tablets/smartphones the same way we do with TVs/game consoles. It would be really cool to see what interesting apps would come from underfunded garage development studios.

Reply Score: 1

Is this news?
by WorknMan on Sat 31st Mar 2012 06:38 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

Pointing out the privacy implications seems obvious to me - I mean, pretty much anything that has a camera, and internet connection, and can run apps would be cause for concern, I would think.

That being said, if I have an iPad and can use airplay to beam video to my TV with a $100 device, is there really any reason why I would want to pay extra for all these features in a TV?

Reply Score: 3

Coming next ...
by acobar on Sat 31st Mar 2012 11:32 UTC
acobar
Member since:
2005-11-15

reality adult exchange content between neighbors! Holly crap!

Reply Score: 3

Comment by Wafflez
by Wafflez on Sat 31st Mar 2012 22:44 UTC
Wafflez
Member since:
2011-06-26

Is this April 1st? God I hate this day, one day without internet (because using it makes me rage with all this crao >< ).

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by Wafflez
by sagum on Sun 1st Apr 2012 03:55 UTC in reply to "Comment by Wafflez"
sagum Member since:
2006-01-23

Happy Troll-alol Day!

Reply Score: 1

Comment by sagum
by sagum on Sun 1st Apr 2012 03:53 UTC
sagum
Member since:
2006-01-23

One interesting feature of the webcam software that is built into the TV set, is its ability to detect if the remote control has exploded... apparently, they got a good deal on the Sony batteries they've bundled for use with the remote.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Sun 1st Apr 2012 08:31 UTC
shmerl
Member since:
2010-06-08

Another reason not to trust closed proprietary systems.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by shmerl
by kateline on Mon 2nd Apr 2012 02:49 UTC in reply to "Comment by shmerl"
kateline Member since:
2011-05-19

Indeed. Did anyone happen to notice the first comment after the article was from none other than Richard Stallman himself --

"With software, either the users control the program or the program controls the users. To control the program, users need certain freedoms, so we call this free/libre software. The basis for these freedoms is to have the full source code.

The operating software in these TVs is proprietary; Samsung has not even said which system it is. So this software controls the users.Samsung could be a kindly master, a vicious master, or an inept master abused by others, but with this software it is the user’s master.

Proprietary software often has malicious features. In addition to possible spying, this TV surely has the same malicious features that nearly all digital TVs have: features to restrict the user (DRM)."

Reply Score: 2