• Smart TVs are spying on you :)

    From Feoh@VERT/DECAFBAD to All on Wed May 17 02:38:36 2023
    I just moved back to Academic (MIT Online Learning) after having worked for 6 years at Amazon.

    One of the moments where I recoiled in revulsion at how the product I was building was being used was learning that the cloud filesystem I was working for was used in TV pixel sampling for advertising demographics.

    So, your Smart TV, if you have it connected to the internet, is sending packets every few minutes containing sampling pixel data on what you're watching.

    So even if you're watching a DVD or an old VHS tape, advertisers are recording that and using that demographic data to sell you things.

    I know I found this rather disquieting when I learned it.

    Only solution is to disconnect the smart TV from the internet, or put up with it like I do :)

    One of these days I'd love to use Python/SCAPY to spoof the traffic the TV is sending back to the mothership to make it look like I'm watching something like C-SPAN 24/7 :)

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  • From Arelor@VERT/PALANTIR to Feoh on Wed May 17 15:33:29 2023
    Re: Smart TVs are spying on you :)
    By: Feoh to All on Wed May 17 2023 02:38 am

    I know I found this rather disquieting when I learned it.

    Nothing new under the sun.

    Piece of advice: get a REAL router with advanced firewall capabilities, place all your IOT in its own VLAN and firewall the heck out of it.

    That, if it needs network access at all.

    If you want to get depressed you only have to check which traffic your smartphone generates with a sniffer. Unless you take aggressive measures, smartphones are very hostile devices.

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  • From Tracker1@VERT/TRN to Feoh on Fri Jun 16 11:07:15 2023
    Re: Smart TVs are spying on you :)
    By: Feoh to All on Wed May 17 2023 02:38:36

    So, your Smart TV, if you have it connected to the internet, is sending packets every few minutes containing sampling pixel data on what you're watching.

    So even if you're watching a DVD or an old VHS tape, advertisers are recording that and using that demographic data to sell you things.

    I know I found this rather disquieting when I learned it.

    Yeah, I have a temporary wifi I use for setup (when absolutely needed) that I shut down after. I do use ShieldTV boxes on most of the TVs (one is still got a firetv on it). I also definitely don't want a tablet built into my fridge either. It's kind of gross how much tech goes into modern appliances that's intentionally built of just enough quality to make it through the warranty period before failing, with no replacement options.

    I don't like boxes that don't receive regular security updates. I use a custom OpnSense router with a commercial AP, along with pihole, and the only outside entry is via Wireguard.


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  • From Tracker1@VERT/TRN to Arelor on Fri Jun 16 11:09:57 2023
    Re: Smart TVs are spying on you :)
    By: Arelor to Feoh on Wed May 17 2023 15:33:29

    Piece of advice: get a REAL router with advanced firewall capabilities, place all your IOT in its own VLAN and firewall the heck out of it.

    PiHole and similar work very well too. The Intel N6005 based routers (Amazon and Ali Express) are starting to come down to decent pricing, more than most router/firewalls, but can run OpnSense.


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