“The FBI will not have to bug your living room; you will do it yourself.”
So says Michael Price of Salon.com, the nervous new owner of a “smart” TV – a web-connected telly that recognises his face, listens to his voice, and could send that information (and more, including emails he receives) to a third party.
“Got that? Don’t say personal or sensitive stuff in front of the TV,” writes Price.
“I do not doubt that this data is important to providing customised content and convenience, but it is also incredibly personal, constitutionally protected information that should not be for sale to advertisers and should require a warrant for law enforcement to access.”
The Daily Mail reports British IT consultant Jason Huntley found his LG smart TV had sent his children’s names, unencrypted, over the internet “because he had watched a family video on his set”.
Price explains current laws offer very little privacy protection to the “third party records”, including data stored in the cloud (although one federal court of appeals has found this rule unconstitutional with respect to email).