The Daily Mail:

Samsung’s latest breed of plasmas and HDTVs may allow hackers, or even the company itself, to see and hear you and your family, and collect extremely personal data.

The new models, which are closer than ever to personal computers, offer high-tech features that have previously been unavailable, including a built-in HD camera, microphone set and face and speech recognition software.

This software allows Samsung to recognise who is viewing the TV and personalises each person’s experience accordingly. The TV also listens and responds to specific voice commands.
is your tv watching you

High-tech: Samsung’s latest sets feature built-in HD cameras, microphone sets and face and speech recognition software

But some critics have suggested that the TV company could be spying on you, or even watching and listening to you – without your knowledge – through these features.

Gary Merson, who runs website HD guru, said that because there is no way of disconnecting the camera and microphone, users cannot be 100 per cent sure that Samsung is not collecting data and passing it on to third parties.

I think an electronics engineer ought to be able to determine whether that scenario’s even possible, and I doubt an electronics company would dedicate any personnel or resources to monitoring people in their living rooms, but a more reasonable, if still somewhat paranoid, concern is whether a government agency might be able to do such a thing. Are you concerned about the camera on your computer? We know that they’ve been used for surveillance—by schools of students. CIA Director David Petraeus’ glib remarks do not instill confidence:

Every day increasing number of personal & household devices is getting connected to internet; from your TV to car navigation systems. Consequently, CIA Director David Petraeus can’t wait to monitor those extensive internet usages.

Petraeus, earlier this month, pondered about the invasion of Internet on things used on daily life — at the In-Q-Tel’s (the venture capital firm of CIA) summit. “Usually, ‘transformational’ is an overused word. On the contrary, I believe the word is properly applicable to these technologies,” said Petraeus, “especially to their impact on clandestine tradecraft.”

Eventually, all those state of the art online devices can be regarded as treasure trove of data when you possess interest to the spy community. There was a time when spies used to implant bugs in your chandelier for hearing your conversation. But with the advancement of “smart home,” messages will be automatically sent to one spying on you. Besides, the spy community can access to Geo-located data in real time as soon as you install the lighting application on your phone for adjusting the ambience of your living room.

Every day increasing number of personal & household devices is getting connected to internet; from your TV to car navigation systems. Consequently, CIA Director David Petraeus can’t wait to monitor those extensive internet usages.

Petraeus, earlier this month, pondered about the invasion of Internet on things used on daily life — at the In-Q-Tel’s (the venture capital firm of CIA) summit. “Usually, ‘transformational’ is an overused word. On the contrary, I believe the word is properly applicable to these technologies,” said Petraeus, “especially to their impact on clandestine tradecraft.”

Eventually, all those state of the art online devices can be regarded as treasure trove of data when you possess interest to the spy community. There was a time when spies used to implant bugs in your chandelier for hearing your conversation. But with the advancement of “smart home,” messages will be automatically sent to one spying on you. Besides, the spy community can access to Geo-located data in real time as soon as you install the lighting application on your phone for adjusting the ambience of your living room.

In the very unlikely event that Samsung can and wishes to spy on customers through their televisions, though, we recommend for their sake that they not follow this fellow.