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Should we be scared of our television? Welcome to the modern day panopticon.

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posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 06:37 AM

As somebody who doesn't own a television , I'm certainly not under the illusion I myself have a lot of privacy. I have an iPhone, and iPad, a PC, and no doubt I am filmed many times a day going about my business. As a kid I would never have imagined that the spying TVs of 1984 would become a reality in my lifetime.

On my list of websites I read, I occasionally check in at I came across this article written by someone who just bought a new TV.

The amount of data this thing collects is staggering. It logs where, when, how and for how long you use the TV. It sets tracking cookies and beacons designed to detect “when you have viewed particular content or a particular email message.” It records “the apps you use, the websites you visit, and how you interact with content.” It ignores “do-not-track” requests as a considered matter of policy.

It also has a built-in camera — with facial recognition. The purpose is to provide “gesture control” for the TV and enable you to log in to a personalized account using your face. On the upside, the images are saved on the TV instead of uploaded to a corporate server. On the downside, the Internet connection makes the whole TV vulnerable to hackers who have demonstrated the ability to take complete control of the machine.

More troubling is the microphone. The TV boasts a “voice recognition” feature that allows viewers to control the screen with voice commands. But the service comes with a rather ominous warning: “Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party.” Got that? Don’t say personal or sensitive stuff in front of the TV.

Ok, so what we have here is a TV that knows a great deal about you. It knows what you watch, what you look like, and can recognise your voice. Perhaps this is not troubling to those who may say 'if you're not doing anything wrong, you've nothing to be worried about', but I think on ATS many are concerned with privacy. Maybe you like a specific type of fetish, perhaps you have a bowel condition that necessitates wearing adult nappies, or perhaps you simply take a 'mental health day' off from work. Do you want your TV knowing this? Seeing as many televisions are web enabled these days, that's even more data available, and we all know (or certainly should) how safe our data is in the light of the never ending privacy breaches we hear about.

So who may be interested in this data?

According to retired Gen. David Petraeus, former head of the CIA, Internet-enabled “smart” devices can be exploited to reveal a wealth of personal data. “Items of interest will be located, identified, monitored, and remotely controlled through technologies such as radio-frequency identification, sensor networks, tiny embedded servers, and energy harvester,” he reportedly told a venture capital firm in 2012. “We’ll spy on you through your dishwasher,” read one headline. Indeed, as the “Internet of Things” matures, household appliances and physical objects will become more networked. Your ceiling lights, thermostat and washing machine — even your socks — may be wired to interact online. The FBI will not have to bug your living room; you will do it yourself.

So now we have the CIA spying on us through our home appliances. I think perhaps the CIA may be of less concern than advertisers who will go on to sell your information to others, and even more troubling, hackers who gain access to all of your personal data. Insurance agents will have a field day if they have access to your data. Maybe your premiums go up because it's noticed you're looking a bit fat and have been eating a lot of KFC. Ransomware seems a pretty nasty type of malware, how would one like their TV held for ransom and having a wife, husband, or kids asking why the TV won't work?

George Orwell's big brother had nothing on the technology that's available today. Huxley wasn't too far off either, with his SOMA. Perhaps ironically and slightly amusingly, Apple, the company who told us why 1984 would not be like 1984 are as guilty as anyone else in the high-tech industry for ushering in this modern day panopticon.
edit on 31-10-2014 by cuckooold because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 06:45 AM
I wouldn't hook it to the net. Get a media streamer to watch netflix with, and let the TV record its little heart out.

posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 06:51 AM
so they stuck a kinect on a tv?
like OP i haven't owned a tv for more than a decade now, it just makes no sense, but there is no escape, the moment we would upload/download images from the internet, is the moment our privacy started to die, and it won't get better.
in one way, if you have a facebook account or anything like that, you have essentially given up on any expectation of privacy. the fact that you have a password for it, and it's set to private means nothing.
The data collection is set up in a way that it is inevitable if you want to stay in touch with family or friends

+1 more 
posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 06:53 AM
I'm at a point where I believe that if I want some hint of privacy, I need to go live in a cabin in the woods, without internet, smartphone or anything. These recent developments are really eerie and creepy. It's all a lot worse than you think, but how to ever stop this? We could only try to escape and live a low-tech life.

posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 07:03 AM
Reasons to be paranoid about a paranoid government? Plenty.


National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, Pub.L. 112–81. This NDAA contains several controversial sections (see article), the chief being §§ 1021-1022, which affirm provisions authorizing the indefinite military detention of civilians, including U.S. citizens, without habeas corpus or due process, contained in the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), Pub.L. 107–40.[6]

posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 08:42 AM
That's why I don't buy stuff like that. My son wanted an XBox One with the Kinecs and I said NO. And then went on to explain to him why I did not want one of those in the house.. After he heard of all the crap they can pull with that little gadget, he agreed. My daughter recently brought home a Chromebook that had been given to her by the school. All students got one and are expected to bring it home every night, keep it charged and do all homework on it. That brought to mind the stunt that a Texas school pulled with their software and made her put a small piece of tape over the mic and camera. My son was told by a teacher to download an app to his phone that let him keep track of Science Club doings and lo and behold, the app could control his mic and camera, read email, text and basically took over the phone when it wanted. He went back and told the teacher, even showed her the policy of the app and where it said it needed those permissions. She didn't believe it. She said "I don't know, but I don't think it can really do all those things". Which goes to show, these teachers are either lying or worse, have no idea what they're recommending to their students.
We have a 44 inch flat screen, I've upgraded as far as I'm going and I'm very careful what I download to my phone.

posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 08:43 AM
So easy to set up at the point of manufacture. This within a short period of time is likely to get hacked by local thieves as a tool to further their crimes.

posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 08:49 AM
a reply to: nukedog

Watch Person of Interest, all of the technology shown on the TV show is here right now. Except for the, I hope, fictional computer AI.

The rest of it is there, most people are in denial about the pervasive surveillance that goes on. Once the TV's with cameras and microphones become common place and therefore ignored in households we will have 1984.

It is exactly what the liberals/progressives/Democratic party want so that they can reshape society into what they think will be utopia, but will end up a dystopia of epic proportions. We are already seeing the dystopia in action with the steady and purposeful destruction of the black race, in the past 6 years unemployment up 8%, single motherhood up 10% to a total of 71% of children in mother only households, home ownership down 5%, poverty up 15%, incarceration rates up 4%.
Links are here: //
Black women have more than 50% more abortions than all other races combined. Women with one abortion are 30% more likely to get breast cancer and if they are under 18 800% more likely to get breast cancer.

When you consider even the poorest among us have TV's, smart phones etc, total surveillance and reshaping society to whatever the government considers a desired state will be easy.

edit on 10Fri, 31 Oct 2014 10:16:04 -0500am103110amk315 by grandmakdw because: addition

edit on 10Fri, 31 Oct 2014 10:17:53 -0500am103110amk315 by grandmakdw because: format

posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 09:55 AM
a reply to: grandmakdw

And I suspect they aren't far from the computer AI.

posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 09:58 AM
Aw, big brother is gonna babysit for everyone.
How thoughtful!
Creeping police state anyone?
If you're bad we''ll cut off your internet until you can behave!

Eta: On a personal note a big middle finger to all the alphabet agencies and their co-operative corporate whores who make all this possible. Without privacy we will cease to be individuals. Everyone can now be molded in to the good little drones you always wanted. Congratulations on disowning your humanity. Enjoy your artless, uncreative and sterile future.
edit on 31-10-2014 by Asktheanimals because: because I hope some of those "people" (?) actually read it.

posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 10:03 AM
So, you're saying I should not do the things my toaster is telling me to do?

posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 10:45 AM
Turnin on the TV, watching some nonsense mumbling about Boston marathon injured, turning off the TV. ... That´s how it is.

posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 11:12 AM
You all have to remember that the military is 40 years ahead of whatever is seen on television. I'm certain they have advanced AI and probably quantum computers.

posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 11:55 AM
a reply to: cuckooold

you again..

you made this topic & the others
(highly recommended)
another brilliantly constructed article imho, S&F'd, retweeted & spongebobbed

when will you make the presentation on what all these various things mean when put together? *wink*

i've always liked the way you come across as objective, professional & stuff
but deep down you know it's miller time
keep up the good work & enjoy the panopticon, it's double-plus good

posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 12:06 PM
Not to scare you, but nobody needs outer technology anymore to spy on someone, what do you think haarp and RFID chips are for? Also, algorithms are your friend, since 19..sthg. Don't worry if you scream now: I have no free will, you're wrong. Whatever suggestions you get, you're still in charge. Who wants to explain the difference between human and animal? Because that's the point, am I following orders blindly, or do I have a conscience?

posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 01:02 PM
I see the hidden agenda's shown on certain television shows. I'm smart enough to see through it. I only hope that most people are but there is the part of the population who need to be told what to think. It's a deep meaning debatable subject in my opinion. I think the parents need to take an active stance with their own children to prevent them from believing everything they see or hear on television. The schools are doing a piss poor job, so step up the game parents!

posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 01:04 PM
a reply to: LOSTinAMERICA

Now I'm reminded of how Steve Jobs believed in restricting his children from things like tablets.

I wonder if he knew something?

posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 01:20 PM
a reply to: nukedog

I didn't think of Steve Jobs at all. I didn't fall for the movies. I didn't cater to the hype. I passed up everything that was written about him. But...He had that right.

posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 01:26 PM
a reply to: LOSTinAMERICA

I think if nothing else, they are definitely addicting. My son is always bum rushing my phone. I don't let him mess around with it because he's two, but later on down the road he may be the only kid on his block with no smart phone and no tablet.
edit on 31-10-2014 by nukedog because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 31 2014 @ 02:03 PM
People think I'm paranoid because I disable/remove/cover up cameras and microphones on devices. I don't own a TV or a smart phone (or any so-called smart electronics), and have no intention of ever doing so.

It both frightens and disgusts me how much power the corporations have over us, and how little respect they have for us. All they care about is money. Sure, politicians are paranoid, and so they should be, they allow their corporate sponsors to get away with this. All working together for their own selfish gain, and screwing us all in the process.

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