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Thread: How can we tell which electronics are spying on us?

  1. #1
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    How can we tell which electronics are spying on us?

    Not sure where to post this but I know that the people on here are the best to ask this question.

    With all the new tech and products that contain cameras and microphones, such as Samsung tvs, I am wonering if there are consumer protection groups or ordinary people who are exploring the innards of these gadgets to see if they contain cameras, tvs or other spy devices. It is known that Samsung operators agreement tells consumers to not conduct personal conversation or activities in front of their TVs. It is said that some cable boxes have microphones and with the coming of the ability of ALL appliances to comunicate with each other and then upload data to smart meters and corporations, I wonder who is monitoring these spies. How can we buy products and be sure our privacy is secure?

  2. #2
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    Re: How can we tell which electronics are spying on us?

    You cannot. Get used to it.

    There have been cases of baby monitors being accessed through the WiFi connection between the unit in the baby's room and the unit in the location where the parents are. If there is two way communication between the two units and if there is video as well, then the hacker has been able to view the baby and talk to the baby.

    Commercial profit is driving development. I do not think that much thought is given to privacy or security. Oh, by the way, this is a user forum. What makes you think that any of us know more about this than you do? We are just Ubuntu users. This is not a forum for privacy activists. We are not privacy activists.

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    Re: How can we tell which electronics are spying on us?

    After reading this, I unplugged my toaster!
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    Re: How can we tell which electronics are spying on us?

    Moved to Cafe
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    Re: How can we tell which electronics are spying on us?

    The TVs I'm aware of that have the potential to send details of your conversations to other people have an option to turn off the speech recognition feature, thus reducing the risk of the "wrong" people hearing stuff that would otherwise be private.
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    Re: How can we tell which electronics are spying on us?

    Quote Originally Posted by grahammechanical View Post
    You cannot. Get used to it.

    There have been cases of baby monitors being accessed through the WiFi connection between the unit in the baby's room and the unit in the location where the parents are. If there is two way communication between the two units and if there is video as well, then the hacker has been able to view the baby and talk to the baby.

    Commercial profit is driving development. I do not think that much thought is given to privacy or security. Oh, by the way, this is a user forum. What makes you think that any of us know more about this than you do? We are just Ubuntu users. This is not a forum for privacy activists. We are not privacy activists.

    Regards.
    +1 (although I am a programmer working for an electronics company so not quite 'just an Ubuntu user' but basically; if you did not make it yourself and it has much means to be used against you it then someone will probably try and in trying probably succeed - even if you do make it yourself, one little mistake and enough connectivity etc and it can be their tool in no time too).
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    Re: How can we tell which electronics are spying on us?

    even electricity supply meter is reporting when you are at home and when you are not.
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    Re: How can we tell which electronics are spying on us?

    Some devices apparently allow the user to turn off voice activation, including some Samsung products, I believe. Of course, then you can't use the voice activation feature, so you can't say, "OK Google..." or "Hey, Siri...". The things have to be listening all the time for it to work.

    General Rule of Thumb: If a device is on a network, any of the device's communication over that network is visible on the network. Would not be a network if it wasn't.

    Remember, there is a big difference between a company collecting data about the behavior of its products on the net versus a company deliberately targeting *you*. As I see it, only the latter is spying. (For example, I'm sure Canonical analyzes data in its web server logs left by people visiting this site. My tiny bits of data -- IP address, browser, OS, etc. -- are there for this visit. That's not spying. Mapping my name to my IP address and deliberately collecting and sifting through data to track my activities -- targeting me -- is spying.)

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    Re: How can we tell which electronics are spying on us?

    Quote Originally Posted by sammiev View Post
    After reading this, I unplugged my toaster!
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    Re: How can we tell which electronics are spying on us?

    Quote Originally Posted by sofasurfer View Post
    How can we buy products and be sure our privacy is secure?
    Don't buy the products that have them integrated. Privacy is a myth.

    Quote Originally Posted by mastablasta View Post
    even electricity supply meter is reporting when you are at home and when you are not.
    Good point.
    OnStar, LoJack, hell even some digitized heart devices have geo-ip.
    Smart thermostats know when you're home and when you are not.

    There aren't enough tin foil hats to cover this one.

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