Your TV is Watching You

This is going to sound bonkers, even though you’re used to so many things tracking you… web pages, emails, and apps… but I’m here to tell you that while you’re watching your TV, your TV is also watching you. Or I guess more accurately, your TV is watching what you’re watching. Even if you’re not using the built-in smart apps, if you’re just piping pixels in from an external box, your TV can recognize the movies and shows being displayed. And it’s taking meticulous taking notes and selling that data. It’s called Automatic Content Recognition and “post-purchase monetization”. It’s sorta like the Shazam music recognition app, but for TV shows and movies. I’ll tell you what you can do to stop it.

In other news: a tricky new ransomware campaign is targeting home Windows users; Signal is removing support for SMS text messaging; Toyota user app data was exposed for years; the White House unveiled a new cybersecurity rating system for consumer products; Apple privacy is better than most, but still falls short; a privacy researcher tries and fails to keep her pregnancy secret from marketers; companies in the UK are tailoring real-life billboards using cameras and AI; relief funds were sent to people impacted by Hurricane Ian using AI algorithms; Facebook’s new VR headset will mine your facial expressions for marketing; Wired article gives tips for avoiding student surveillance tools.

Article Links

  1. [ZDNet] This unusual ransomware attack targets home PCs, so beware
  2. [Signal] Removing SMS support from Signal Android (soon)
  3. [BleepingComputer] Toyota discloses data leak after access key exposed on GitHub
  4. [CyberScoop] White House to unveil ambitious cybersecurity labeling effort modeled after Energy Star
  5. [The Atlantic] I Tried to Keep My Pregnancy Secret
  6. [The Guardian] Apple says it prioritizes privacy. Experts say gaps remain
  7. [VICE] Companies in the UK Are Mining Users’ Personal Data to Place Billboard Ads
  8. [WIRED UK] Hurricane Ian Destroyed Their Homes. Algorithms Sent Them Money
  9. [Gizmodo] Meta’s New Headset Will Track Your Eyes for Targeted Ads
  10. [WIRED] How to Protect Yourself If Your School Uses Surveillance Tech
  11. Tip of the Week:

Further Info

Table of Contents

Use these timestamps to jump to a particular section of the show.

  • 0:00:27: News rundown
  • 0:03:40: Sneaky new Windows ransomware targets home users
  • 0:07:20: Signal drops support for SMS on Android
  • 0:14:53: Toyota leak exposed car app data for 5 years
  • 0:18:27: White House cybersecurity product labeling initiative
  • 0:21:54: Privacy scholar tries and fails to keep pregnancy secret
  • 0:28:28: Apple still had glaring privacy holes
  • 0:33:57: UK billboards target content using cameras and AI
  • 0:38:56: Hurricane Ian relief funds sent using AI automation
  • 0:45:23: Facebook VR headset reads your facial expressions
  • 0:51:30: Protecting yourself from school surveillance
  • 0:56:23: Tip of the Week: Your TV is Watching You
  • 1:05:06: Dear Carey
  • 1:08:42: Upcoming book, coin promotions