If you are considering getting a new TV, think twice. Because the TV could be watching you instead.
Unfortunately, this is nothing new.
In the past, the TV maker Vizio paid a $2 million fine to settle charges that they monitored users’ viewing habits.
Vizio TVs had a feature that allowed the company to track viewers’ habits that was automatically turned on.
For instance, the TVs were able to track anything the person was watching, from watching cable to streaming to watching a Blu-ray, they could track it all.
The data collected was then combined with more personal data including age, gender, and other valuable – but personal – information.
The only thing Vizio didn’t share was the specific person’s name.
The data was sold to ad companies and used to target viewers with specific advertisements.
According to one attorney…
“Vizio then turned that mountain of data into cash by selling consumers’ viewing histories to advertisers and others. And let’s be clear: We’re not talking about summary information about national viewing trends. Vizio got personal.”
These days Vizio discloses and asks for consent to track viewing habits. You may even get a pop-up screen on a new TV that asks for tracking permission.
You can turn off tracking, but it’s hidden inside the settings menu and can take some time to figure out.
And Vizio is far from being the only TV manufacturer to track users. Other smart TV makers have been doing the same thing.
Samsung, LG, and Sony all have opt-in features for tracking viewing habits.
Yet, since the FTC settled charges with Vizio, many TV makers have made it a point to make tracking notices clear.
Now, the last thing you want to worry about is your TV spying on you.
But with the latest advancements in technology, this is exactly what was happening.
Unfortunately, smart TVs are some of the least scary technologies in our lives today.
In fact, here are a few of the “scariest” security devices from the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Ring Always Home Cam:
Ring is known for its home security cameras, most notably its video doorbell.
The company is owned by Amazon and recently introduced the Always Home Cam. It’s a miniature drone that patrols your house while you’re away.
It works with other Ring devices and will start flying around your house if a Ring alarm or motion sensor is triggered.
You can even set up custom paths for the drone to fly or patrol while you are gone.
There is no date for when it will start selling. But imagine a drone that will see everything at your house and who knows who will get that data.
Lockly Flex Touch Pro:
The Flex Touch Pro is a smart lock. But what sets it apart from other locks is that it can be fitted to your existing deadbolt.
The lock has a fingerprint scanner that can store 99 fingerprints that you can give access to your house.
The lock also works with an app so you can unlock or lock the door with the app when you’re away.
The Flex Touch Pro is not compatible with the latest smart home security protocol. Plus, Wi-Fi locks connect to the internet, which means they can be hacked.
Withings urine sensor:
Millions of people submit urine samples for health testing (from kidney functions to nutrition tests).
But a company called Withings has introduced a sensor for your toilet that claims to do the same thing.
A sensor attaches to your toilet bowl and uses a cartridge to detect urine. It then sends the results of the urine to an app.
The CEO of Withings said, “You don’t think about it, and you just do what you do every day.”
The thing is that users will be trusting a tech company with very personal health data.
Withings is a French company, subject to European Union regulations, but do you really want your personal health information passed around Europe or hacked by China?
Every year the tech industry introduces the latest products at the Consumer Electronics Show.
Yet, it also introduces the latest ways that criminals can steal our data, which could now include a urine report.
These three products are just a small sample of the dangerous technology being introduced into our lives this year…
And the products at the Consumer Electronics Show are just the ones the public is being shown.
There are plenty more “black hat” products out there that are working overtime to infiltrate your privacy and access your personal information.