We All Knew It was Just A Matter Of Time!!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Gopherman, Feb 9, 2015.


Will you buy one of these?

Poll closed Sep 9, 2015.
  1. yes

    2 vote(s)
  2. No

    21 vote(s)
  1. Gopherman

    Gopherman Sometimes I Wish I Could Go Back to Sleep

    Samsung's warning: Our Smart TVs record your living room chatter
    Technically Incorrect: Samsung's small print says that its Smart TV's voice recognition system will not only capture your private conversations, but also pass them onto third parties.

    You see, this is progress in intelligence. Because you need an intelligent TV. Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

    Why worry about Big Brother?

    It's your big Samsung TV that's watching you. Oh, and listening to you.

    That seems to be the conclusion from reading the privacy small print offered by the company. (Samsung's motto: TV has never been this smart.)

    It concerns the voice-recognition feature, vital for everyone who finds pressing a few buttons on their remote far too tiresome.

    The wording, first spotted by the Daily Beast, first informs you that the company may "capture voice commands and associated texts so that we can provide you with Voice Recognition features and evaluate and improve the features."

    This is almost understandable. It's a little like every single customer service call, supposedly recorded to make your next customer service call far, far more enjoyable.

    However, the following words border on the numbing: "Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party through your use of Voice Recognition."

    We are NOT having your mother here this weekend, next weekend or ANY weekend!

    I'm pregnant and it's not yours.

    The possibilities curdle in the mind. So much so that I have contacted Samsung to ask how broad this policy might be and what third parties might be informed of your personal conversations. (I would have just shouted at my SmartTV to get comment, but it isn't a Samsung.)

    A Samsung spokeswoman told me: "Samsung takes consumer privacy very seriously. In all of our Smart TVs we employ industry-standard security safeguards and practices, including data encryption, to secure consumers' personal information and prevent unauthorized collection or use."

    But what might be authorized and by whom?

    Samsung's spokeswoman continued: " Should consumers enable the voice recognition capability, the voice data consists of TV commands, or search sentences, only. Users can easily recognize if the voice recognition feature is activated because a microphone icon appears on the screen."

    Yes, we must now look for little microphone icons to check whether we're being listened to.

    As for the third parties mentioned in the privacy policy, Samsung explained it to me like this: "Samsung does not retain voice data or sell it to third parties. If a consumer consents and uses the voice recognition feature, voice data is provided to a third party during a requested voice command search. At that time, the voice data is sent to a server, which searches for the requested content then returns the desired content to the TV."

    One imagines this is simply one more small step for mankind toward ultimate electronic envelopment, which some see as a very good thing.

    Your Nest and other devices will, of course, capture so many of your domestic predilections too. This is about making the Internet of Things merely one more thing in making your life easier, lazier and seemingly less private.

    Clearly, this isn't the only option for those intent on a SmartTV. You can disable the full panoply and stick to a series of already-defined voice commands. However, this still brings with it stipulations such as "While Samsung will not collect your spoken word, Samsung may still collect associated texts and other usage data so that we can evaluate the performance of the feature and improve it."

    Alright, you cry, I'll switch voice-recognition data off altogether. This will result in "You may disable Voice Recognition data collection at any time by visiting the 'settings' menu. However, this may prevent you from using all of the Voice Recognition features."

    As Samsung's spokesperson explained to me: "Voice recognition, which allows the user to control the TV using voice commands, is a Samsung Smart TV feature, which can be activated or deactivated by the user. The TV owner can also disconnect the TV from the Wi-Fi network."

    You might imagine that other SmartTV manufacturers would have similar controls and stipulations. If a product can listen and record something, it's likely it will.

    So I went to Philips SmartTVs and could only find a general privacy notice, with no specific information relating to SmartTVs. LG's privacy policy again is general, with no apparent specific information relating to SmartTVs and their potential.

    I have contacted both companies to ask whether there is a more detailed supplement that makes their TVs capabilities clear.

    LG was, however, embroiled in a privacy controversy in 2013, when its SmartTVs were accused of knowing too much. The company promised to change its policies.

    More Technically Incorrect
    At the heart of all this is, of course, trust. The best and only defense against intrusion from the likes of Google to Samsung is this: "We don't really care about your private life. We just want your data, so that we can make money from it."

    It's inevitable that the more data that we put out, the more will be recorded and the more will be known about us by machines which are in the charge of people.

    We have all agreed to this. We click on "I agree" with no thought of consequences, only of our convenience.

    It isn't just your TV that will listen and record. Soon, it'll be everything that has a digital connection.

    This is our digital bed. We lie in it willingly.
  2. Gopherman

    Gopherman Sometimes I Wish I Could Go Back to Sleep

    Tracy likes this.
  3. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    Why would anyone want a TV that spy's on them? I certainly wouldn't want anyone else to hear what we were talking about.
  4. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    For those that travel and use hotel and motel TVs, be aware of the potential ==
  5. Prime8

    Prime8 existential nihilist

    People assume the microphone in the old House phones was off when it was hanging on the wall too.. Yeah right.

    Why would anyone still have a TV at all??? Paying for the privilege of being propagandized is absurd!
  6. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    " Should consumers enable the voice recognition capability, the voice data consists of TV commands, or search sentences, only. Users can easily recognize if the voice recognition feature is activated because a microphone icon appears on the screen."

    That is the key statement..... don't activate the voice recognition portion of the TV and it is a moot issue. Now could the letter boys reach into your TV and turn on this function..... maybe/most likely. But if they want to go to this level of observing your home activities.... you have much bigger problems. They will be on your phone, computer, and visual monitoring from across the street. If you have that big of a concern about them targeting you at this time, number 1, you unplug everything, throw away your phones and resort to carrier pigeon.

    Technology is awesome to have an use..... but you have to know how to use it with privacy in mind. You can mitigate the technology/features of these devices with a little forthought. Tape over the camera on your laptop & other devices that have one such as the Xbox Connect, never enable or be sure to disable voice recognition software, turn off GPS functions on your cell phones..... and so on.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 9, 2015
    Tully Mars, Motomom34 and kellory like this.
  7. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    If you can hang it up, and end a conversation, then yes, the mike has been cut off, if you pick up the phone, and the line is still live after being hung up after a few seconds, then the disconnect switch on YOUR PHONE is broken. Replace the phone. That has nothing to do with someone listening on the line.

    If they want to listen to you, they could do it a dozen different ways, including a spot of tape on your window. (The sound vibrations can be read off the window with a laser, as the window resonates with sound within.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2015
    Tully Mars and Yard Dart like this.
  8. gunbunny

    gunbunny Never Trust A Bunny

    If my TV could hear what I say to it, it would cry.
  9. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    Yard Dart likes this.
  10. Lone Gunman

    Lone Gunman Draw Varmint!

    Wow! Look where recording every word got Richard Nixon; and he was the president! :eek:
  11. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Oh man....you mean big brother is watching me while I swap the Gideons for a copy of the Bhagavad Gita??? :eek:

    Never fear Christians...I'm doing the Lord's work by leaving the Gideons in the mailbox of my local Madrassah, and I am doing the Prophet's work, (pbuh) by donating any Islamic tracts I receive from Islamic street preachers to local Christian thrift shops. It's my way of doing ecumenical religious evangelism.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2015
  12. Gopherman

    Gopherman Sometimes I Wish I Could Go Back to Sleep

    Mysterious Cell Towers that dumb your phone down grab your calls , Planes with boxes that scoop up all kinds of data, computer hacking, Video cameras in the cable box, listening devices on your TV, IRS Targeting for political and Religious Affiliations, kinda spooky even if your not doing anything wrong!! Orwell only missed it by 30 years!
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2015
    Prime8 likes this.
  13. Mindgrinder

    Mindgrinder Karma Pirate Ninja|RIP 12-25-2017

    You dont need one...your xbox does it, your iphone and android tablets do it...
  14. Mindgrinder

    Mindgrinder Karma Pirate Ninja|RIP 12-25-2017

    While I agree with you're paying to be propagandized statement...you're wrong aboot old ring and tip telephones. You could tell by the voltage if the mic was triggered....and it certainly wasn't unless a handset was off the hook.
    Cruisin Sloth likes this.
  15. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    We don't have Xbox Kinect so we should be safe. We do have Xbox live.
  16. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Our kinect is only connected when in use (by the kids). The dumb kinect would activate while watching netflix or amazon and try to stop, turn off, rewind etc. based on what the actors said. Dumb thing would never listen to the humans in the room, so it stays disconnected.
    Motomom34 and chelloveck like this.
  17. Prime8

    Prime8 existential nihilist

  18. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    I just bought a Samsung 3D Monitor to go with my new Yamaha AV Receiver and 3D BluRay Player.... I don't have to worry about any of that stuff happening on my network, as I wrote the Firewall firmware, running in my Routers, and they specifically DO NOT allow those IP Addresses to connect to the Outside World. They also DO NOT allow Outside IP Addresses to communicate into those Boxes. If I should need to download and Firmware Update for those Boxes, I do it with the LapTop, when it is connected OUTSIDE the firewall, ONLY, and then disconnect it, and reconnect it inside the FireWall, manually.... and then transfer the new Firmware into the Box.
    chelloveck and Tully Mars like this.
  19. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow

    SO we are seeing a problem & we know it's out there . How about the new interconnected bed / cover ?? They say for sleep & breathing , Nada , just if your home . If that was around in the 6-70s , blackouts would of cum in waves .
  20. Gopherman

    Gopherman Sometimes I Wish I Could Go Back to Sleep

    If I invent a Tech. and tell you it will do this, but don't tell you it will do that, you only really know what I tell you.
    Most people would never be able to take it apart and determine what it can actually really do, without an advanced degree!
    If one were to really be wondering why the Gov. would be concerned about them? I refer to this

    Rex 84, short for Readiness Exercise 1984, was a classified "scenario and drill" developed by the United States federal government to suspend the United States Constitution, declare martial law, place military commanders in charge of state and local governments, and detain large numbers of American citizens who are deemed to be "national security threats", in the event that the President declares a "State of National Emergency". The plan states, events causing such a declaration would be widespread U.S. opposition to a U.S. military invasion abroad, such as if the United States were to directly invade Central America.[1][2][3][4] To combat what the government perceived as "subversive activities", the plan also authorized the military to direct ordered movements of civilian populations at state and regional levels.[5]

    Rex 84 was written by Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North[citation needed], who was both National Security Council White House Aide, and NSC liaison to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and John Brinkerhoff[citation needed], the deputy director of "national preparedness" programs for the FEMA. They patterned the plan on a 1970 report written by FEMA chief Louis Giuffrida, at the Army War College, which proposed the detention of up to 21 million "American Negroes", if there were a black militant uprising in the United States.[6] Existence of a master military contingency plan (of which REX-84 was a part), "Garden Plot" and a similar earlier exercise, "Lantern Spike", were originally revealed by journalist Ron Ridenhour, who summarized his findings in an article in CounterSpy.[7]

    Transcripts from the Iran-Contra Hearings in 1987 record the following dialogue between Congressman Jack Brooks, Oliver North's attorney Brendan Sullivan and Senator Daniel Inouye, the Democratic Chair of the joint Senate-House Committee:[8]

    [Congressman Jack] Brooks: Colonel North, in your work at the N.S.C. were you not assigned, at one time, to work on plans for the continuity of government in the event of a major disaster?

    Brendan Sullivan [North's counsel, agitatedly]: Mr. Chairman?

    [Senator Daniel] Inouye: I believe that question touches upon a highly sensitive and classified area so may I request that you not touch upon that?

    Brooks: I was particularly concerned, Mr. Chairman, because I read in Miami papers, and several others, that there had been a plan developed, by that same agency, a contingency plan in the event of emergency, that would suspend the American constitution. And I was deeply concerned about it and wondered if that was an area in which he had worked. I believe that it was and I wanted to get his confirmation.

    Inouye: May I most respectfully request that that matter not be touched upon at this stage. If we wish to get into this, I'm certain arrangements can be made for an executive session.

    Exercises similar to Rex 84 have happened in the past.[9] For example, from 1967 to 1971, the FBI kept a list of over 100,000 persons to be rounded up as subversive, dubbed the "ADEX" list.[10]
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