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Smart TVs Sending Sensitive User Data to Netflix, Facebook

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Are they watching TV, or is TV watching them?

Two recently completed studies found smart TVs in our homes are leaking sensitive user data to companies including Netflix, Google, and Facebook, even when some devices are idle.


A study by researchers at Northeastern University and the U.K.'s Imperial College London found that certain smart TVs and streaming dongles transmit information like location and Internet Protocol (IP) addresses to Netflix, Facebook, and third-party services, in some cases even when the devices are turned off.

The researchers cited Amazon, Google, Akamai, and Microsoft as the most frequently contacted third parties, since they deliver cloud and networking services for smart devices to run on.

Meanwhile, a study of smart TVs by Princeton University found apps supported by Roku and FireTV were channeling data such as specific user identifiers to third parties, including Google.

Experts warned there is little regulation of how smart devices store and share personal data.

From Financial Times
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Abstracts Copyright © 2019 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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