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posted by janrinok on Tuesday February 10 2015, @02:41AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the and-who-thought-that-this-was-a-good-idea? dept.

The BBC has said that Samsung has issued a warning to its customers over their smart TVs, saying that people shouldn't talk about personal information in front them. When using the voice activation feature of the smart TV, it will listen to everything you say and may share that with Samsung and third parties.

This only came to light when The DailyBeast posted a new story pointing out part of the privacy policy...

"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"

Corynne McSherry, an IP lawyer for EFF, told The DailyBeast that the "third party" was probably the company providing speech-to-text conversion for Samsung. They also said: "If I were the customer, I might like to know who that third party was, and I’d definitely like to know whether my words were being transmitted in a secure form."

Related Stories

Brisk Sales for "1984" 93 comments

CNN Money reports:

The book publisher Penguin is printing more copies of George Orwell's dystopian classic "1984" in response to a sudden surge of demand.

On Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning the book was #1 on Amazon's computer-generated list of best-selling books.

[...] "We put through a 75,000 copy reprint this week. That is a substantial reprint and larger than our typical reprint for '1984,'" a Penguin spokesman told CNNMoney Tuesday evening.

[...] According to Nielsen BookScan, which measures most but not all book sales in the United States, "1984" sold 47,000 copies in print since Election Day in November. That is up from 36,000 copies over the same period the prior year.

When the submitter visited amazon.com, the book was ranked #3.

Additional coverage:

Related stories:

Washington DC's Public Library Will Teach People How to Avoid the NSA
George Orwell's "1984" Telescreens are Here...
Traveling to Thailand? Don't Pack George Orwell's "1984"


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  • (Score: 5, Disagree) by c0lo on Tuesday February 10 2015, @02:56AM

    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 10 2015, @02:56AM (#142970) Journal
    Fortunately nobody forces you to buy one and then nobody forces you to connect it to the internet.
    --
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Arik on Tuesday February 10 2015, @03:16AM

      by Arik (4543) on Tuesday February 10 2015, @03:16AM (#142973) Journal
      Just wait a few years and they wont be making anything else.
      --
      If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 10 2015, @03:38AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 10 2015, @03:38AM (#142978)

        Currently, old cellphones are getting good prices because people who don't want the privacy downsides of the new stuff are willing to pay for older stuff.
        I'm wondering how long it will take before simple big-screen monitors will get the same treatment because of this 1984 stuff.

        In addition, a manufacturer can simply refuse to offer software updates for your "smart" TeeVee.

        If you're still doing TeeVee, it seems to me that the smart way to do this stuff is to have your own box (running non-proprietary software, of course) and have that as a separate item from the display.

        ...then again, Scott McNeely of Sun Microsystems said in 1999 "You have no privacy. Get over it."

        -- gewg_

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by frojack on Tuesday February 10 2015, @06:21AM

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 10 2015, @06:21AM (#143019) Journal

        Really?

        What if everybody decides to put Samsung on the No Buy list?
        Do you still think every other manufacture will follow them over the cliff?

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by darkfeline on Tuesday February 10 2015, @06:34PM

          by darkfeline (1030) on Tuesday February 10 2015, @06:34PM (#143247) Homepage

          They won't have much of a choice when a man in a suit comes knocking.

          --
          Join the SDF Public Access UNIX System today!
        • (Score: 2) by Anal Pumpernickel on Tuesday February 10 2015, @10:15PM

          by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Tuesday February 10 2015, @10:15PM (#143331)

          What if everybody decides to put Samsung on the No Buy list?

          You expect the ignorant and unintelligent majority to care about privacy?

          • (Score: 2) by frojack on Tuesday February 10 2015, @10:24PM

            by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 10 2015, @10:24PM (#143340) Journal

            You expect the ignorant and unintelligent majority to care about privacy?

            Feeling a little elitist today I see....

            --
            No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
            • (Score: 2) by Arik on Wednesday February 11 2015, @12:31AM

              by Arik (4543) on Wednesday February 11 2015, @12:31AM (#143382) Journal
              Maybe so but he still has a point.

              Sure, if people in general (or aggregate) were less stunningly ignorant and/or learned to think about their purchases half as much as they should, that wouldnt happen.

              But that's a fantasy world. Think about it for a moment.

              In that world, iphone and android are both flops and there is a secure, free OS for phones. In that world, neither Windows nor Mac ever gained much mindshare, because what idiot would even think about using an OS that doesnt come with source code for anything of any importance? And those that use their computer only for games? They could handle no source but they all said hell no when MS tried to sell them Windows. In that world, MS still makes a decent slice of their profit selling DOS, and it comes with proper OpenGL drivers.

              In that world, neither Netscape nor IE was ever very successful either, because every time some lame 'web designer' tried to use their extensions everyone just quit visiting his site. If Lynx has a problem with it, it's broken, buddy. Would be 'web designers' gave up in disgust around 1994 and switched en masse to high fashion and interior design, a move that benefited both the fields they fled to and from.

              Obviously we dont live in that world, and in this one, we will likely find within a few years that the defective by design product is the only one still being produced and sold, just as has been the case with so many other types of products in the past.
              --
              If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by VLM on Tuesday February 10 2015, @01:09PM

        by VLM (445) on Tuesday February 10 2015, @01:09PM (#143112)

        The fad is already dying and just buy a "computer monitor" with hdmi input. Obviously easy up to 30 inches and hard to find 55 inch computer monitors. Although I'd like a high res 55 inch computer monitor.

        Talking about getting stuck, I bought a 1600x1200 in like the 90s and then upgraded to 1600x1200 LCD last decade and it seems to take special black magic now a days to get more than 1080 pixels tall. Yeah I know its possible, its just a lot more difficult than it used to be.

        • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Wednesday February 11 2015, @02:31AM

          by kaszz (4211) on Wednesday February 11 2015, @02:31AM (#143415) Journal

          What is the obstacle? can't define the mode in xorg.conf ?

          • (Score: 2) by VLM on Wednesday February 11 2015, @12:19PM

            by VLM (445) on Wednesday February 11 2015, @12:19PM (#143533)

            Can't buy them. I just checked and the 4D double 1080 high def fad is leading to higher res monitors finally being available.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 15 2015, @06:14AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 15 2015, @06:14AM (#145188)

          since my crt monitor have becomed quite a bit blurry by age, I guess I have to buy a tft one now... but if I can't find a 1600x1200 tft today then I don't know what to do

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 10 2015, @03:17AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 10 2015, @03:17AM (#142974)

      So you examine every TV in every room you enter? It is not just the uninformed buyer at risk, it is everyone. A good case could be made for placing Samsung on a do not buy list.

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by gnuman on Tuesday February 10 2015, @04:54AM

        by gnuman (5013) on Tuesday February 10 2015, @04:54AM (#143002)

        So you examine every TV in every room you enter? It is not just the uninformed buyer at risk, it is everyone. A good case could be made for placing Samsung on a do not buy list.

        Yeah, good luck with that. LG is making same "smart" TVs. And since there are basically only 2 LCD panel manufacturers in the world (I'll let you guess who), you'll be giving them money in either case.

        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by frojack on Tuesday February 10 2015, @06:29AM

          by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 10 2015, @06:29AM (#143022) Journal

          There are a lot more than two TV manufacturers in the world.
          The panel is not the part containing the microphone.

          If the feds or state government forces them to put a huge warning covering the entire screen and on every box stating that the TV will record every word spoken in the room, how long do you think it would take Samsung to rip the microphone out of every TV they sell?
          Or just outlaw them entirely.
          Can Samsung afford to write off the entire US market?

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
          • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 10 2015, @10:05AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 10 2015, @10:05AM (#143064)

            Err … I don't think such laws will come to the US. To the EU, maybe (probably with an exemption for the UK).

    • (Score: 0, Offtopic) by DNied on Tuesday February 10 2015, @11:08AM

      by DNied (3409) on Tuesday February 10 2015, @11:08AM (#143078)

      Fortunately nobody forces you to buy one and then nobody forces you to connect it to the internet.

      Sorry, SoylentNews: there's no way I can sensibly mod the above comment if you no longer provide an "overrated" option.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by MrNemesis on Tuesday February 10 2015, @01:21PM

      by MrNemesis (1582) on Tuesday February 10 2015, @01:21PM (#143114)

      Given the hypegasm regarding the "internet of things" I think it'll be perhaps a year or two before consumer routers/wireless access points start coming with predefined SSIDs and keys that devices like "smart" fridges, meters, TVs, thermostats and all the rest of it will all connect to automatically. Non-internet enabled appliances will die an undignified death thanks to their lower profit margins and core functionality will likely require internet access rather than giving devices "connected bonuses".

      The potential amount of money to be made by inserting all of this crap into peoples' homes and subsequently flogging the data to advertisers/insurers is huge. I have shares in several major manufacturers of aluminium foil I think it's only a matter of time. Are there any linux distros or appliances out there that specialise in MITM/snooping this sort of stuff? It looks like it's going to be of increasing importance to paranoid loners like me what with all the black boxes demanding internet access these days.

      --
      "To paraphrase Nietzsche, I have looked into the abyss and been sick in it."
      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday February 10 2015, @02:39PM

        by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 10 2015, @02:39PM (#143141) Journal

        I wonder if this trend toward greater and greater invasion of privacy and seizing control over people won't incite a reaction. Will it spur people to launch open source hardware movements and accelerate the adoption of 3D printing?

        I know I personally have been so aggravated by the invasion of centralized control lately that I find myself watching instructables on how to make my own methane digester so I don't have to pay a gas company any more; on how to build mesh networks so that we might one day be free of TWC; on how to grow veggies in hydroponics so I don't have to pay an arm and a leg for food anymore; etc. I can't be alone in that. I am a reasonably paranoid guy, but I am far from a denizen of the long tail in that respect.

        --
        Washington DC delenda est.
      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday February 10 2015, @08:35PM

        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 10 2015, @08:35PM (#143290) Journal

        Given the hypegasm regarding the "internet of things" I think it'll be perhaps a year or two before consumer routers/wireless access points start coming with predefined SSIDs

        Well then, I'll make sure to put together a router with no wireless - you know, the classical old computer with two net cards - my house is Cat6 wired already.

        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
        • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Wednesday February 11 2015, @02:41AM

          by kaszz (4211) on Wednesday February 11 2015, @02:41AM (#143416) Journal

          Doesn't matter because your stuff will connect to your neighbor instead. Make use of some 2.4 GHz small spectrum"very energetic pulse"..

          • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Wednesday February 11 2015, @03:25AM

            by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday February 11 2015, @03:25AM (#143425) Journal
            By the time the IoT will be entrenched so well that I won't find "dumb" appliances, my nearest neighbour will be 200m away (I hope).
            Barring this, an Al-foil wrapped around the antenna should do (if not necessarily blocking the signal, it'll modify the impedance/capacitance enough to throw the emitted EM out of band).

            Make use of some 2.4 GHz small spectrum"very energetic pulse"

            (yes, there's always the possibility of a DIY flux compression generator EM-pulse [wikipedia.org] - I hope it qualifies for "very energetic pulse" - grin)

            --
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
      • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Tuesday February 10 2015, @08:36PM

        by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 10 2015, @08:36PM (#143291) Journal

        I understand what you are saying, and I cannot honestly say that you are wrong, but to whose internet will these devices connect? Not to mine. They will not have the password for the WiFi, and I'm damned if I'm going to be wiring them up. Who would pay for the data being sent? Again, not me! And if they just connect to the first available WiFi then they could well connect to a completely different household than the one in which they are located.

        The manufacturers may be having hot flushes about how much data they think that they will be getting - but it won't be getting it from me!

        --
        It's always my fault...
        • (Score: 2) by MrNemesis on Tuesday February 10 2015, @09:26PM

          by MrNemesis (1582) on Tuesday February 10 2015, @09:26PM (#143315)

          Similarly I understand what you're saying. These things won't be connecting to my internet or your internet because we're aware and we're educated in the ways of blocking this kind of thing. I'm thinking of the sort of people that accept whatever router and whatever setting their ISP graces them with, the sort of router where the ISP might say to GadgetCorp "sure, pay us $5 per router and we'll make sure all of your Gadgets can connect through our routers without any user intervention".

          Even amongst my geeky friends, many of whom are capable of building their own routers (with blackjack and hookers) from toilet rolls and sticky-backed plastic, only about 30% of them actually don't use the ISP-supplied router. True, we have less shenanigans about that in the UK (here it's generally "free" as opposed to explicitly rented as I understand they are in the US) but the way to making mass-market sensorship commonplace is through people like that. And when these 95% of people "have accepted" incessant surveillance people like you and I will be looked at as even weirder and more eye-rollingly paranoid than we are already. "What do you mean my Z-Eye isn't allowed to connect to your internet?! What's wrong with it?"

          It'll all be a moot point eventually of course, because each of those "internet of things" devices will eventually come with its own GSM chip and aerial once power and bandwidth are no longer a constraint.

          --
          "To paraphrase Nietzsche, I have looked into the abyss and been sick in it."
    • (Score: 2) by Jeremiah Cornelius on Tuesday February 10 2015, @04:08PM

      by Jeremiah Cornelius (2785) on Tuesday February 10 2015, @04:08PM (#143185) Journal

      Yes. You control the manufacture of every TV, in every room you enter.

      --
      You're betting on the pantomime horse...
    • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Tuesday February 10 2015, @04:43PM

      by bob_super (1357) on Tuesday February 10 2015, @04:43PM (#143202)

      Courtesy of the internet of things BS, every appliance you buy ten years from now will wirelessly talk to its real masters once plugged in.
      You may not be in front of the TV, but the toaster is looking at you wrong, and don't get me started on the bathroom fan.
      Nope, you're not in a Disney movie...

      (Please SN, add the much needed "conspiracy" mod)

      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday February 10 2015, @08:30PM

        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 10 2015, @08:30PM (#143289) Journal
        I'm the master of the router, the things may gossip among themselves but, in regards with gossiping outside, my house is Las Vegas (what happens here, stays here).
        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
        • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Tuesday February 10 2015, @10:13PM

          by bob_super (1357) on Tuesday February 10 2015, @10:13PM (#143330)

          I did say "wirelessly".
          Unless you live in a Faraday cage, in the boonies, or are ready to snip off PCB antennas, we shall know all, regardless of your puny router rules...

          • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Wednesday February 11 2015, @03:27AM

            by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday February 11 2015, @03:27AM (#143426) Journal

            are ready to snip off PCB antennas

            I'm ready any time, even if you wake me up in the mid of the night. Gladly.

            --
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
            • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Wednesday February 11 2015, @04:57PM

              by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday February 11 2015, @04:57PM (#143663)

              "I'm sorry, snipping off your LeToaster antenna is a violation of the EULA, which is why the DRM prevents you from enjoying our Fabulous PerfectBrown(R) Goodness"
              We apologize for the inconvenience and would like to invite you to buy a new one.
              We understand this was a first-time offense and will not pursue any legal action. As a reminder, under HR2021-1, "Tampering, Disabling or Destroying the IoT capabilities of any device is a Felony". We bid you a good day, Citizen.

              • (Score: 3, Touché) by c0lo on Thursday February 12 2015, @02:15AM

                by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 12 2015, @02:15AM (#143906) Journal

                I'm sorry, snipping off your LeToaster antenna is a violation of the EULA

                I'm sorry, but your EULA is illegal.

                You see, I bought an object that esthetically imperfect: the thingy you call antenna was ugly like hell.
                Exercising my free right of expression, I sculpted out the imperfection and transformed it in the absolutely gorgeous utilitarian-art object that you can admire on my kitchen bench.

                --
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 2) by arslan on Wednesday February 11 2015, @09:40PM

      by arslan (3462) on Wednesday February 11 2015, @09:40PM (#143784)

      No, but they did trick people into buying it. If they actually state that their TVs will record and phone home, then yea I'd agree with you, but they didn't. At least not here in Oz.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 10 2015, @03:11AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 10 2015, @03:11AM (#142971)

    Sure, I guess it's imporrant to know whether everything said in my living room was being sent to a third party "in a secure form" or not. But I'd prefer to start with what they're permitted to do with the information, and how they retain it first.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by MrGuy on Tuesday February 10 2015, @03:14AM

      by MrGuy (1007) on Tuesday February 10 2015, @03:14AM (#142972)

      Also, at what point do transcripts of everything said in your living room become "business records" that are subject to warrantless surveillence?

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 10 2015, @03:40AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 10 2015, @03:40AM (#142980)

      But I'd prefer to start with what they're permitted to do with the information, and how they retain it first.

      Actually, I would much prefer to start with instructions on how to physically disable the camera and microphone on the damn thing! Do you really think this will never be abused? The unfortunate lesson of history is that if it can be abused it will be abused; it is only a matter of time. If they are actually retaining any of this then you can pretty much kiss goodbye any notion of privacy in your own home. Makes me glad I don't currently own a TV!

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 10 2015, @04:50AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 10 2015, @04:50AM (#142999)

        That's fine until you buy one that has no remote. Their already button-less much of the time.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 10 2015, @11:04AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 10 2015, @11:04AM (#143077)

          If you physically modify the TV anyway, it should be possible to connect the microphone cable to some remote-controlled device sending appropriate voice commands directly to the wire in response to a button press on the remote.

      • (Score: 2) by Kromagv0 on Tuesday February 10 2015, @08:57PM

        by Kromagv0 (1825) on Tuesday February 10 2015, @08:57PM (#143301) Homepage

        Some simple wire cutters would likely do. It is probably just a couple of wires to the speaker and just a ribbon cable to the camera.

        --
        T-Shirts and bumper stickers [zazzle.com] to offend someone
  • (Score: 5, Informative) by bryan on Tuesday February 10 2015, @03:20AM

    by bryan (29) <bryan@pipedot.org> on Tuesday February 10 2015, @03:20AM (#142975) Homepage Journal

    Ditto for anyone with a modern laptop or smart phone. They all have webcams and microphones built in. Some don't even bother to include an LED "active" light to warn you when the device is being used. Others have the light, but implement it badly in software so that nefarious programs can still use the camera without turning on the light.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 10 2015, @03:31AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 10 2015, @03:31AM (#142977)

      duct tape to the rescue

      • (Score: 2) by EvilSS on Tuesday February 10 2015, @07:48AM

        by EvilSS (1456) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 10 2015, @07:48AM (#143039)

        Duct tape is a bit too aggressive (cleaning that residue off if I want to use the camera or sell the laptop would be a pain). I clip the adhesive strip from a post-it note and use that. Stays on just fine until I want to remove it. Won't totally black out the camera but best someone may be able to do is tell if the lights are on or not.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by VLM on Tuesday February 10 2015, @01:03PM

          by VLM (445) on Tuesday February 10 2015, @01:03PM (#143109)

          Electrical tape looks better and blocks those horrific late 90s blue LEDs. The adhesive for both can be dissolved with any oil or solvent, just not water based. So a drop of cooking oil to soften it up with a q-tip and that sticker-cleaner stuff from the car cleaning section of the store.

          • (Score: 2) by Jeremiah Cornelius on Tuesday February 10 2015, @04:11PM

            by Jeremiah Cornelius (2785) on Tuesday February 10 2015, @04:11PM (#143186) Journal

            Blue LED? 2000 ce. Before that, they were green and red - occasionally yellow and orange.

            --
            You're betting on the pantomime horse...
          • (Score: 2) by darkfeline on Tuesday February 10 2015, @06:38PM

            by darkfeline (1030) on Tuesday February 10 2015, @06:38PM (#143250) Homepage

            If you use Linux, you can just blacklist the webcam driver.

            --
            Join the SDF Public Access UNIX System today!
            • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Wednesday February 11 2015, @02:47AM

              by kaszz (4211) on Wednesday February 11 2015, @02:47AM (#143417) Journal

              Won't work if you need some specific program that will only run on Microsoft Windows..
              So hardware blocks is the shit.

        • (Score: 2) by redneckmother on Tuesday February 10 2015, @04:29PM

          by redneckmother (3597) on Tuesday February 10 2015, @04:29PM (#143193)

          Won't totally black out the camera ...

          Black Sharpie to the rescue!

          --
          Mas cerveza por favor.
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by MrGuy on Tuesday February 10 2015, @04:08AM

      by MrGuy (1007) on Tuesday February 10 2015, @04:08AM (#142990)

      There is no such thing as a "good" implementation for a camera LED in software. Software can be bypassed. It's either a hardware LED physically wired to the power to the camera, or it's not good enough.

    • (Score: 2) by EvilSS on Tuesday February 10 2015, @07:44AM

      by EvilSS (1456) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 10 2015, @07:44AM (#143037)

      Cameras are also showing up in smart TVs for use with Skype and other apps. Most people won't even realize they are there since they will probably never use the functionality.

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by EvilSS on Tuesday February 10 2015, @07:50AM

        by EvilSS (1456) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 10 2015, @07:50AM (#143040)

        Oh, and let's not forget XBox Connect.... Actually, are any new consumer electronics NOT spying on us?

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by q.kontinuum on Tuesday February 10 2015, @06:28AM

    by q.kontinuum (532) on Tuesday February 10 2015, @06:28AM (#143020) Journal

    German news site Heise [heise.de] asked Samsung for clarification and reported that audio data is only sent to external servers after voice recognition was manually acttivated by the user, when actively performing a voice search. Other voice commands, e.g. to increase/decrease volume etc., are handled locally. The TV recognizes some voice tags like "O.K., TV" or "Smart-TV" with a local processor, which then activates the local voice recognition to handle specific commands. Obviously this means the microphone has to be active all the time, but the data is not stored and only scanned for the keywords afore mentioned.

    This is the official story. After verifying I'm still holding a decent amount of shares in some tinfoil-related businesses, I'd like to point out nevertheless that the basic algorithm could obviously be used to listen for more sinister keywords like "liberal", "terror" or "evolution", and that a device as complex as a TV could easily hide some internal battery and storage to store conversations for later transmissions even after the plug was pulled and the TV was temporarily disconnected from the internet. (However, if I were to work for a 3-letter agency, I'd probably leave these features to smartphones. It's more reliable to associate the recording with a specific person, the smartphone is more likely to be allowed internet access by it's owner, and usually the smartphone has more built-in storage for when it's temporarily offline.)

    --
    Registered IRC nick on chat.soylentnews.org: qkontinuum
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 10 2015, @09:31PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 10 2015, @09:31PM (#143318)

      Apparently voice commands are sent to the TV trough the remote control (with a Push-To-Talk button).

      This makes sense, because you want the microphone away from the loud-speakers for voice recognition. Apparently the simple commands you mentioned still work through an internal mircophone.

      http://global.samsungtomorrow.com/samsung-smart-tvs-do-not-monitor-living-room-conversations/ [samsungtomorrow.com]

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by mendax on Tuesday February 10 2015, @07:40AM

    by mendax (2840) on Tuesday February 10 2015, @07:40AM (#143036)

    It's a good thing that I don't watch TV, nor do I own one, so I am immune. However, there is this little black box with two little holes to either side at the top of my laptop. Hmmm..... it's time to get out the electrical tape and tape a bit of refrigerator magnet over it all. A little paranoia does a body good!

    --
    It's really quite a simple choice: Life, Death, or Los Angeles.
    • (Score: 2) by danomac on Tuesday February 10 2015, @05:32PM

      by danomac (979) on Tuesday February 10 2015, @05:32PM (#143215)

      It's a good thing that I don't watch TV, nor do I own one, so I am immune.

      Sure, in your home. But what if they're everywhere else?

      • (Score: 2) by mendax on Tuesday February 10 2015, @08:11PM

        by mendax (2840) on Tuesday February 10 2015, @08:11PM (#143285)

        They are doomed and can become automatons, slaves of a new world order. For myself, I'll keep on enjoying books... and YouTube videos (via Tor, of course).

        --
        It's really quite a simple choice: Life, Death, or Los Angeles.
        • (Score: 2) by khedoros on Tuesday February 10 2015, @10:23PM

          by khedoros (2921) on Tuesday February 10 2015, @10:23PM (#143337)
          You do occasionally leave your home or have visitors correct? I think that was the GP's point. Others around you aren't so likely to be as concerned about their privacy (and rights in general) as you are. The decisions of others impact you if you're around them.
  • (Score: 5, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 10 2015, @07:47AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 10 2015, @07:47AM (#143038)

    you watch Smart TV.

    • (Score: 1) by theronb on Tuesday February 10 2015, @03:56PM

      by theronb (2596) on Tuesday February 10 2015, @03:56PM (#143177)

      Smart TV watches you. ftfy

      • (Score: 2) by Jeremiah Cornelius on Tuesday February 10 2015, @04:15PM

        by Jeremiah Cornelius (2785) on Tuesday February 10 2015, @04:15PM (#143189) Journal

        WHOOOOSH!
        It was funny, because of the reversal of reversed expectation.

        --
        You're betting on the pantomime horse...
      • (Score: 2) by darkfeline on Tuesday February 10 2015, @06:41PM

        by darkfeline (1030) on Tuesday February 10 2015, @06:41PM (#143251) Homepage

        No see, Smart TV watches you in the US, not Soviet Russia.

        --
        Join the SDF Public Access UNIX System today!
    • (Score: 2) by arslan on Wednesday February 11 2015, @09:45PM

      by arslan (3462) on Wednesday February 11 2015, @09:45PM (#143786)

      *clap*clap*clap*

      It is a sad day indeed when Soviet reversal jokes describes a sane world.

  • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Wednesday February 11 2015, @03:07AM

    by kaszz (4211) on Wednesday February 11 2015, @03:07AM (#143418) Journal

    I think smart people just have to come to terms with that you are surrounded by sheep in large quantities. And that you have to protect yourself from their foolish decisions.

    Let's hope someone writes a self propagating piece of software that will block microphones, camera and other uncontrolled input devices. But for the aware user it seems the solution is to physically destroy the aerial and don't connect the Ethernet jack. The next step is to flash the smart-TV with free and open source software that does work the right and secure way. Beware of Ethernet over HDMI too.

    Warranty will be void if you open the TV to disconnect WLAN, microphone or camera. Any solution?