Complete List of Data Collected by Smart TVs



A report released by the FBI warns consumers of hackers using Smart TVs to spy on people. According to the FBI, hackers can take control of a homeowner’s unsecured TV and in worst-case scenarios, turn on the TV’s camera and microphone and cyberstalk them. This could also open up the possibility of identity theft. 

Zimlon looks at some of the data Smart TVs collect from users. The below infographic shows some of the data collected that applicable for most Smart TV brands.

data_collected_by_smarttvs

Cybercriminals use such information, for example, to seek large loans under another’s name. Cyber theft becomes easier given that smart TVs are connected to the internet, in order to use various streaming services and apps. Most smart televisions also have microphones that enable users to give voice commands instead of using the remote. Some Smart TVs, equipped with cameras that enable facial recognition, can authenticate a viewer's account and suggest programs by detecting their visage. Newer Smart Televisions are being launched in the market, which can also allow users to place video calls over their Smart Televisions. All this makes Smart TVs a valuable target for hackers.

According to Samsung’s privacy policy, even if a user’s spoken words include personal and other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party through the use of Voice Recognition. As seen here in the screenshot taken from Samsung’s privacy policy.

voice_recognition

The following are some of the precautions that users can implement to make sure that they are not being spied on through their smart TVs

  • Turn off the TV’s microphone and camera when not in use

  • Turn off face recognition 

  • Turn off gesture control

  • Disable voice recognition

  • Visit the settings menu and disable features you find intrusive

About 16.7 million people became victims of identity theft in 2017. Citizens who are covered by an identity theft insurance are better equipped to deal with the recovery of stolen information and repairing their credit. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), identity theft insurance costs between $25 and $50 per annum.

The following are a list of expenses typically covered under a standard identity theft insurance policy

  • Legal costs

  • Credit monitoring services

  • Notary costs

  • Wages lost

  • Copies of credit card reports

  • Childcare costs

Direct financial losses are not covered under an identity theft insurance policy, barring some of the expenses of identity theft.