Monday, 9 February 2015

Pas devant

Samsung have issued a warning about talking in front of their smart TVs.

It seems their voice-activated, net-connected televisions do not behave quite as expected. You would expect that the TV would listen to its owner's voice, understand the commands and carry out the ordered actions, such as changing channel or downloading a movie.

But, no, actually the voice command is sent through the internet connection to an unnamed 3rd party voice-recognition supplier which converts the sounds to a computer language which is then passed back up the line to the TV set which then does the requested action. Which is long-winded but OK, until you realise the TV does not know what is a command and what is not and so passes everything it hears that might be a command to the 3rd party to see if translates to a command it should obey.

The net result is that the 3rd party is collecting a lot of private conversations and possibly some "useful" telephone banking type information.

Probably there is some sort of scandal waiting to happen here, although this blog is not sure what, maybe a back-channel to the NSA, effectively every home so equipped is bugged.

Of course if you have got a mobile phone you are already bugged. The intelligence services can switch them on remotely without any on-screen indication that they are transmitting (except perhaps the battery running down rather fast.)

1 comment:

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