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Holy shit, Samsung Smart TVs straight up send "snippets" of things that you watch back home to "to provide you with customized Smart TV experiences".

samsung.com/us/account/privacy

Search that page for the text: "Your Smart TV transfers video snippets or TV tuner information in order to determine the programs watched."

@mike Aaaaaaand this shit is why my next TV is going to be a monitor. :blobnervous:

@Jo
For me, that's not the reason. Rather, I've never owned a TV but only PCs, sometimes with receiver cards -- but I haven't even had that in over 10 years because there's just so much better stuff on the web, and unless it's live streams, I don't even have to know when it's on...

...and my PC is way smarter than even the smartest Samsung TV, to the point where it sometimes does what I want, not the vendor...
@mike

@mike

i wonder if that includes stuff you watch from an attached USB drive?

> cues up 24/7 DBZ Abridged marathon

@mike @vfrmedia sadly not surprised. Other makers (Vizio notably) have openly done that for a while.

The only large maker I'm aware of that doesn't (yet) is Sony, and I'm sure that's just a matter of time.

Blackholing the thing's MAC and using it as a dumb monitor is advised.

@tekhelet LivePlus feature spies on you. So far, they do let you turn it off in settings at least, with no indication so far that the setting is untrustworthy

@mike @vfrmedia

@mike basically they admit to sending a stream of screenshots to analyze and sell. If this is the future, I think the term 'Luddite' is something to be proud of.

@mike ehhh....yeah cuz I want my niece's dance recital to be transferred

@mike Buying a smart TV is a really dumb idea. But it seems the industry won't let us be smarter than their TVs.

It seems the next best option is to never connect your television to a network, though I wonder how long it will be until tv manufacturers force you to connect it at least once on initial setup before letting you use it.

In any case I have resolved to never buy another "television", and search for a truly " dumb" large format monitor or panel display.

@msh @mike That was the point of Blu-ray and hdcp. They weren't even subtle about it. It was to close the "analog hole" and allow for more control and more advertising.

@mbybee @msh @mike

Everyone in the industry is trying to squeeze out a few cents from this ecosystem; even public service broadcasters of Europe (as they have their taxpayer sourced funding reduced and often also have to seek revenue through advertising).

The price difference between a smart TV and a (sometimes more expensive) large monitor is the amount of money your/your families data is deemed to be worth (but isn't as much as it seems!)

@vfrmedia @msh @mike That's for certain. I'll keep my perfectly serviceable screen that supports everything from composite to HDMI and doesn't know what Wi-Fi is.

@mbybee @msh @mike

I compared a Philips monitor and a TV, both of 43" screen size (which is about as large as is used at my work) and the monitor was only 26€ more expensive, although another tactic I've seen is the discounting of a 50" telly to nudge more people into buying it (although it is also less likely for anyone to put a 50" monitor on a desk and at that size its moving into "specialist electronic signage" market which has always got a price premium

@vfrmedia @msh @mike I can't comment on a screen that size, but sounds like what I've seen.

@msh @mike I have an old router just for this purpose. The TV connects to the special router which is only connected to the net if necessary. Otherwise it's just a decoy so the TV won't try to find an unsecured network to connect to

@gudenau @mike the DMCA is mostly about adjusting copyright term definitions and adding restrictions to circumventing technical controls meant to protect copyrights; I’m not sure how that’s relevant here?

Copyright in general isn’t an issue for this because (a) “snippets” of content are very likely to be fair uses and (b) users are [legally speaking] authorizing this behavior when they agree to the terms of use during setup anyhow

Unethical and slimy, but not illegal

@Calcifer @mike People have been slammed for snippets before, and it can be argued that with so many snippets they get most of the media.

@gudenau @mike I get that you want this to be illegal (so do I, but not on copyright grounds), but it just isn’t. I lack both the depth of expertise and the time to explain why

But it’s telling that big TV makers have been doing this for almost a decade now and haven’t been sued over it

@mike I'm very happy with mine and my mom's dumb TVs and my Nintendo Switch which I'll just dock in to watch YouTube on either TV

@mike stop talking about "smart" TVs, those aren't smart, they are just spying.

@mike you can disable a good bit of the telemetry from the developer/debug menu. Different Samsung smart TVs have different methods of accessing that menu, but this helped me:

hardmasterreset.com/how-to-fac

This will also allow you to reenable Bluetooth, since Samsung oh-so-kindly disabled it with a recent update.

Fair warning - you could brick your TV doing this (something that I never thought I'd say)

@mike @vfrmedia @Calcifer @msh @mbybee
It starts to be well studied by the academic community, e.g. arxiv.org/abs/1911.03447

And these 3 papers presented by A. Narayanan (Princeton) @random_walker

When we watch TV, our TVs watch us back and track our habits. This practice has exploded recently since it hasn’t faced much public scrutiny...

🐦🔗: nitter.net/random_walker/statu

For the general public to understand it and feel concerned, it will take some time 😕

#surveillance #privacy #freedom #tracking

@mike I still only have older lcd TVs and am not looking forward to having to replace them at some point.

@mike mine was disappointed with me when I didn't connect it to my WiFi

@mike @rugk
That's the reason, why my Samsung has no smart functions activated and no "internet access".

@mike
I installed a pihole at home and saw that my Sony TV makes more than 1500 requests every day sending some stuff to Sony and other ones to Netflix given that its embedded with that model of TV ... Everything is blocked now

@mike Samsung is not the only one, some Android TV televisions (most notably Sony, Sharp, TCL and Philips) have app called Samba Interactive TV. It uses machine learning to identify what are you watching, devices connected to the same network (they have tracker for embedding in websites), it even analyzes picture from HDMI inputs. And all of this primarily for advertising purposes.

nytimes.com/2018/07/05/busines

@sdebkowski @mike
in austria we have an option for a noGIS-
Monitor that costs not more than regular smartTVs.

but i don't know if it will available in 2020?!

@mike I'm surprised you are surprised by this. Most set top boxes (Sky in Europe, Name your cable provider ) have reported channel selection for years...

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