MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

How Smart TVs in Millions of U.S. Homes Track More Than What’s on Tonight

Posted by M. C. Fox on July 5, 2018

Don’t connect smart devices to the internet. Don’t buy one to begin with, if possible. Tape over the microphone and viewer facing camera on your devices. That includes ‘fridge etc.

If you want to stream video use a cheap netbook connected to your TV or monitor. You have more control, can add various security features and can use Proxify, Private Internet Access or some other VPN to add anonymity. Brave, Firefox, Startpage, Duckduckgo are possible browser applications.

Of course if you are happy being one the sheeple – Never Mind.

https://www.wral.com/how-smart-tvs-in-millions-of-u-s-homes-track-more-than-what-s-on-tonight/17675939/

By Sapna Maheshwari

In recent years, data companies have harnessed new technology to immediately identify what people are watching on internet-connected TVs, then using that information to send targeted advertisements to other devices in their homes. Marketers, forever hungry to get their products in front of the people most likely to buy them, have eagerly embraced such practices. But the companies watching what people watch have also faced scrutiny from regulators and privacy advocates over how transparent they are being with users.

Samba TV is one of the bigger companies that track viewer information to make personalized show recommendations. The company said it collected viewing data from 13.5 million smart TVs in the United States, and it has raised $40 million in venture funding from investors including Time Warner Cable, cable operator Liberty Global and billionaire Mark Cuban.

Samba TV has struck deals with roughly a dozen TV brands — including Sony, Sharp, TCL and Philips — to place its software on certain sets. When people set up their TVs, a screen urges them to enable a service called Samba Interactive TV, saying it recommends shows and provides special offers “by cleverly recognizing onscreen content.” But the screen, which contains the enable button, does not detail how much information Samba TV collects to make those recommendations…

Once enabled, Samba TV can track nearly everything that appears on the TV on a second-by-second basis, essentially reading pixels to identify network shows and ads, as well as programs on Netflix and HBO and even video games played on the TV. Samba TV has even offered advertisers the ability to base their targeting on whether people watch conservative or liberal media outlets and which party’s presidential debate they watched…

It can be a cutthroat business. Samba has sued Alphonso for patent infringement. Last year, Vizio paid $2.2 million to settle claims by the Federal Trade Commission and the state of New Jersey that it was collecting and selling viewing data from millions of smart TVs without the knowledge or consent of set owners. In December, The New York Times reported that Alphonso was using gaming apps to gain access to smartphone microphones and listen for audio signals in TV ads and shows…

Be seeing you

sheeple

 

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