Did Samsung just let the cat out of the bag?
Or mention that there’s an elephant in the living room called constant personal surveillance?
In a troubling new development in the domestic consumer surveillance debate, an investigation into Samsung Smart TVs has revealed that user voice commands are recorded, stored, and transmitted to a third party. The company even warns customers not to discuss personal or sensitive information within earshot of the device.
This is in stark contrast to previous claims by tech manufacturers, like PlayStation, who vehemently deny their devices record personal information, despite evidence to the contrary, including news that hackers can gain access to unencrypted streams of credit card information.
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.
This sparked a back and forth between the Daily Beast and Samsung regarding not only consumer privacy but also security concerns. If our conversations are “captured and transmitted,” eavesdropping hackers may be able to use our “personal or other sensitive information” for identity theft or any number of nefarious purposes.
There is also the concern that such information could be turned over to law enforcement or government agencies. With the revelation of the PRISM program — by which the NSA collected data from Microsoft, Google, and Facebook — and other such NSA spying programs, neither the government nor the private sector has the benefit of the doubt in claiming tech companies are not conscripted into divulging sensitive consumer info under the auspices of national security.
End of quote.
Mind you, when our tracking friends can turn on your phone’s microphone and camera at will, which if they really want to track you they can do, there really is nothing called personal privacy left, and there probably hasn’t been for much longer than we can imagine.
Big Brother is more than alive and well, he’s in your lounge room and your pocket.