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 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 Parent Score: 3

RE: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by somebody on Sat 31st Mar 2012 04:29 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 Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by ssokolow on Sat 31st Mar 2012 05:52 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 Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by andih on Sat 31st Mar 2012 20:32 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 Parent Score: 3

RE: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by MOS6510 on Sat 31st Mar 2012 05:58 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 Parent Score: 2

RE: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by Gooberslot on Sat 31st Mar 2012 07:06 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 Parent Score: 2

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 Parent Score: 2

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

Too late, Thom raw and uncut has already gone viral

Reply Parent Score: 9

RE: Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by WereCatf on Mon 2nd Apr 2012 06:48 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 Parent Score: 4