Big Brother Sam Sung me a Song: I’m Watching You

Late last year, Samsung announced in their Global Privacy Policy SmartTV Supplement that “we collect, use, share, and store information through your SmartTV”.  Specifically, Samsung says “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.” Even if you disable the voice recognition function in your TV, Samsung still sends the audio feed to a third party that converts it to searchable text. “Samsung will not collect your spoken word, Samsung may still collect associated texts and other usage data”.  They even wash their hands of the responsibility for the privacy and safety of it’s users. If you do not enable the voice recognition feature, “Samsung is not responsible for these providers’ privacy or security practices. You should exercise caution and review the privacy statements applicable to the third-party websites and services you use.”

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That in no way sounds DISABLED to me. My recommendation to anyone that owns a Samsung smart TV, put it on Craigslist.  At a minimum, disable the data collection.  Samsung states “you may disable Voice Recognition data collection at any time by visiting the “settings” menu.”  This, however, does not guarantee that third parties won’t still be collecting data.

The collected data that is sent to a third party is far from anonymous. This collected information includes; content that you have watched, purchased, downloaded, or streamed through Samsung applications on your SmartTV or other devices.  Also included in the mass data aggregation is information regarding your usage, device identifiers, IP address, hardware/software configuration, browser information, and associated cookies.

Once upon a time, this would have been the rantings of a homeless man on a street corner. But not today. Big Brother is now part of our everyday lives. We invite the technology into our homes for convenience. An infrastructure has been built around us without our consent, and with virtually no alternative. From smart-meters, to taxation by the mile in our cars, the big-business model of data collection for profit is running rampant. I see a retro-tech revolution in the near future. An off the grid society with a focus on community. I see that as the primary aspect we have traded, technology for community. You can call me a Luddite, but I embrace technology. However, I rebel against it being forced on us all for the benefit of a multinational, above reproach, tax exempt elite. This is a crossroads that will direct how we deal with the inevitable coming singularity. This could be harnessed for good, or conversely, despotism. It’s time to have open debate about this. What are your thoughts?

-Mr. Resister

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One Response to Big Brother Sam Sung me a Song: I’m Watching You

  1. Pingback: Introducing: The Idaho Common-tater | Convince Yourself Media

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