Gadgets That Spy On Their Owners

 

Smart TVs recently made news for spying on owners. But lots of other gadgets also observe their owners. XBox Kinect is just one.
Smart TVs recently made news for spying on owners. But lots of other gadgets also observe their owners. XBox Kinect is just one.

When the recent brouhaha erupted over Samsung SmartTV’s habit of harvesting ambient conversations and transmitting that data to unnamed third parties, we noted that Samsung was hardly alone.

In fact, Security Ledger reported on identical behavior by LG television sets back in May, 2014.  But, as this article notes, televisions aren’t the only sensor-rich devices that are seeing and hearing what goes on around us.

Forget about Samsung or LG getting recordings of you laughing at The Daily Show, or foggy conversations you have about what to watch next. What about Microsoft Xbox Kinect, which includes sound, motion and infrared sensors that can track up to six individuals simultaneously? Also mentioned: Google Waze, Amazon Echo and GM’s OnStar.

The question – as always- is about what privacy protections consumers should expect from connected devices. While all the above manufacturers sought “consent” from users in the text of verbose and legalistic Terms of Service agreements, its doubtful that users took the time to read – let alone understand – those agreements. And individuals who just invested in a technology like Kinect want to use it – even though they might not consent to having their movements tracked.

The Federal Trade Commission is wading into this complicated issue – albeit tentatively. The FTC recently issued a report calling on device makers to do more to ensure privacy protections for consumers and to secure the data they do share.

Read more via It’s not just Samsung TVs — lots of other gadgets are spying on you — Fusion.

Spread the word!

Comments are closed.