Your TV Is Probably Tracking You

In dystopian depictions of the future, there's usually technology in a person's home that keeps track of their every activity. Well it turns out we may already be in that dystopian future, and the technology watching us is actually our TVs.

The New York Times recently reported that Smart TVs made by Sony, Sharp and Philips are often preinstalled with a data-tracking program called Samba TV. When setting up your TV, you will get the option to enable Samba TV in order to get "personal recommendations." But once you set up Samba, it does a lot more than just generate recommendations.

"Once enabled, Samba TV can track nearly everything that appears on the TV on a second-by-second basis, essentially reading pixels to identify network shows and ads, as well as programs on Netflix and HBO and even video games played on the TV," the New York Times reported. "Samba TV has even offered advertisers the ability to base their targeting on whether people watch conservative or liberal media outlets and which party's presidential debate they watched."

And it's not even just your TV that Samba is watching. Since your Smart TV is hooked up to your wifi, Samba can also identify all the devices in your home that are also connected to that network. And it can share all of this information with marketers. 

So unless you really love seeing commercials for your favorite fast food chain or car brand, you should probably disable Samba before it begins sharing your data with Skynet. 

(h/t Mental Floss)


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