FBI warns about snoopy smart TVs spying on you
A recent FBI report warned that hackers could take control of an unsecured TV, gaining the ability to turn on the microphone and camera. Although this risk has been on the radar for some time, only a few cases of hackers using TVs to cyberstalk homes have been recorded. However, the FBI warns that there is a high probability of these cases increasing over the next few years. In the report, the FBI recommended that consumers change their security settings, use unique passwords, and know how to turn off the microphone and camera.
Along with the FBI warnings, the Washington Post recently found that Samsung, TCL Roku TV, Vizio, and LG TVs are recording viewing habits using automatic content recognition (ACR). This data is sent to the TV manufacturer, who can determine where you are watching, who you are, and what you are watching. This practice theoretically is forbidden under the Video Privacy Protection Act of 1988, but the fine print in license agreements allows the TV manufacturer the right to collect this information.