Wednesday 22 January 2020

Government action must protect smart TV viewer privacy, says UvA study

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Dutch and European governments should do more to protect the privacy of people watching smart TVs, according to a new research paper by privacy experts from the University of Amsterdam.

The paper by Kristina Irion and Natali Helberger, published in the Telecommunications Policy journal, warns of privacy and data concerns over the use of smart TVs.

It says that it shouldn’t be up to data protection law and authorities alone to protect the privacy of media users.

Last week, Wikileaks revealed that CIA agents allegedly created malware to use Samsung smart TVs as a potential spying device.

The Dutch paper claims smart TVs are already breaching user privacy, citing reported incidents of viewing information being transmitted back to manufacturers and TVs ‘accidentally eavesdropping on private conversations,’ according to a university press release.

‘Our analysis shows how users’ agency is being significantly reduced because information duties haven’t been complied with and how default settings were not privacy-preserving’, said Irion, senior researcher at the UvA’s Institute for Information Law.

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