I’m Terrified Of My New Smart Television, And Why You Should Be Too

The amount of data my new smart television collects is staggering. It logs where, when, how and for how long you use the TV. ...

From facial recognition to personal data collection, this thing is downright scary — and so are the implications

I just bought a new TV. The old one had a good run, but after the volume got stuck on 63, I decided it was time to replace it. I am now the owner of a new “smart” TV, which promises to deliver streaming multimedia content, games, apps, social media and Internet browsing. Oh, and TV too.

The only problem is that I’m now afraid to use it. You would be too — if you read through the 46-page privacy policy.

The amount of data this thing collects is staggering. It logs where, when, how and for how long you use the TV. It sets tracking cookies and beacons designed to detect “when you have viewed particular content or a particular email message.” It records “the apps you use, the websites you visit, and how you interact with content.” It ignores “do-not-track” requests as a considered matter of policy.


The FBI will not have to bug your living room; you will do it yourself.

It also has a built-in camera — with facial recognition. The purpose is to provide “gesture control” for the TV and enable you to log in to a personalized account using your face. On the upside, the images are saved on the TV instead of uploaded to a corporate server. On the downside, the Internet connection makes the whole TV vulnerable to hackers who have demonstrated the ability to take complete control of the machine.

More troubling is the microphone. The TV boasts a “voice recognition” feature that allows viewers to control the screen with voice commands. But the service comes with a rather ominous warning: “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.” Got that? Don’t say personal or sensitive stuff in front of the TV.

You may not be watching, but the telescreen is listening.

I do not doubt that this data is important to providing customized content and convenience, but it is also incredibly personal, constitutionally protected information that should not be for sale to advertisers and should require a warrant for law enforcement to access.

Unfortunately, current law affords little privacy protection to so-called “third party records,” including email, telephone records, and data stored in “the cloud.” Much of the data captured and transmitted by my new TV would likely fall into this category. Although one federal court of appeals has found this rule unconstitutional with respect to email, the principle remains a bedrock of modern electronic surveillance.

According to retired Gen. David Petraeus, former head of the CIA, Internet-enabled “smart” devices can be exploited to reveal a wealth of personal data. “Items of interest will be located, identified, monitored, and remotely controlled through technologies such as radio-frequency identification, sensor networks, tiny embedded servers, and energy harvester,” he reportedly told a venture capital firm in 2012. “We’ll spy on you through your dishwasher,” read one headline. Indeed, as the “Internet of Things” matures, household appliances and physical objects will become more networked. Your ceiling lights, thermostat and washing machine — even your socks — may be wired to interact online. The FBI will not have to bug your living room; you will do it yourself.

Click here to read the rest of this story on Salon.com

NTEB is run by end times author and editor-in-chief Geoffrey Grider. Geoffrey runs a successful web design company, and is a full-time minister of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition to running NOW THE END BEGINS, he has a dynamic street preaching outreach and tract ministry team in Saint Augustine, FL.
  • John

    I would not buy a TV like that to start with. That being said, the same technologies are on most of the phones we use daily. Where’s the outcry? The outcry came and went. Like slow boiling frogs in a pot we come to accept and then embrace what we once decried. Kind of like getting used to-and then actually vehemently defending- abortion on demand, homosexual marriages, NSA spying, unnecessary vaccinations, $18 trillion national debt, etc.

    • Doug

      Just the Beverly Hillbillies.

  • Sue Arnold

    Dear terrified: Who in their right would buy one of these televisions, oh! you did. I will not!!!

  • Jim Sanfilippo

    I’m not hiding from any surveillance. I’m staying on Facebook for the same reason. The evil powers that be already have all the info about me (and you) to know what all of my views are on every topic. As a Christian I am going to live my life in Christ and anyone can watch. I encourage it. I will not fear their fear tactics. I will not run and hide off the grid. I really believe that being afraid of Big Brother is something people who aren’t saved should experience. Those of us in Christ should trust in Him and if very bad things happen because of our faith (as they have and will in the future) then I will wear that as a badge of honor. I don’t recall Jesus hiding “off the grid” so I don’t think we should either. What are we afraid of?

    • SammiD

      Santos Garcia
      I have a problem with the sites and authors/pastors you quote and lead readers to in your articles. Your words most of what you say is correct, but you are a couple of degrees off.

      This is what can happen when we begin to drift off-course:

      “In 1979 a large passenger jet with 257 people on board left New Zealand for a sightseeing flight to Antarctica and back. Unknown to the pilots, however, someone had modified the flight coordinates by a mere two degrees. This error placed the aircraft 28 miles (45 km) to the east of where the pilots assumed they were. As they approached Antarctica, the pilots descended to a lower altitude to give the passengers a better look at the landscape. Although both were experienced pilots, neither had made this particular flight before, and they had no way of knowing that the incorrect coordinates had placed them directly in the path of Mount Erebus, an active volcano that rises from the frozen landscape to a height of more than 12,000 feet (3,700 m).

      As the pilots flew onward, the white of the snow and ice covering the volcano blended with the white of the clouds above, making it appear as though they were flying over flat ground. By the time the instruments sounded the warning that the ground was rising fast toward them, it was too late. The airplane crashed into the side of the volcano, killing everyone on board.

      It was a terrible tragedy brought on by a minor error—a matter of only a few degrees.”

      I believe you are completely sincere, but you are sincerely wrong, and are leading people off the narrow path. Like those two pilots who were off by only a few degrees, you are going the wrong direction and trying to take others with you!
      In your work, you quote pastors, churches and people that I would never listen to, because they preach a different gospel.

      I pray that my discerning brothers and sisters in Christ can see what you are doing and where you are in error.

      • MRH

        @SammiD: The bible clearly instructs us true believers in such odd matters 🙂

        Mat 7:15 KJV – Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

        Mar 13:22 KJV – For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.

        Luk 21:8 KJV – And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.

        2Ti 4:2-4 KJV – Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

        2Pe 2:1 KJV – But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

        1Jo 4:1 KJV – Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

        P.S. I can see right through that guy, it’s Hebrew Roots movement crap 😉

      • Bro. Nick Nicholas

        @ SammiD & MRH – Thank you for the warnings about the “leaven” of the beliefs of Santos Garcia.

        In these times of greatly increasing ‘spiritual deceptions and delusions’ we must remember “the truth” that:
        “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.”
        (Gal 5:9 [KJB])

  • Pingback: November 6, 2014: Truth2Freedom Daily Headline Alerts Collection | Truth2Freedom's Blog()

  • Just wait until you have to buy another t.v. and it starts talking to you while you’re sleeping. Worse yet, that one breaks down, you get another and it starts fighting you over which channel to watch, how loud the sound is, and channel surfing and flipping. I refuse to get a television for the same technological reason(s).

    • Doug

      …and you will listen to the president’s rhetoric whether you want to or not. Or some one far more sinister…

  • Leon

    🙄 IRS claims they can read your e-mail and other electronic communications without a warrant!

    🙄 Who Runs the World? Conspiracies, Hidden Agendas & the Plan for One World Government!

  • STL

    MS: I have 2 Smart T.V.’s its easier on my eyes watching the news and I do not have anything to hide. I’m a Born Again Christian that follows after Jesus Christ, and if the FEMA GOONS want me, I guess their coming for me?

  • CrissCross

    🙄 Millions of voiceprints being collected by governments, corporations!

  • Sunny

  • Sunny

    Big Brother Surveillance Expands Worldwide! 🙄

  • Sunny

    27 Edward Snowden Quotes About U.S. Government Spying That Should Send A Chill Up Your Spine! 🙄


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