Michael Price, counsel in the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, has a disturbing article up at Salon.com.
Turns out, he bought a new "smart" TV, but is now afraid to turn it on.
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.
The technocracy, in the employ of Wall Street corporations, has fully jumped the shark. Sharing the audio from the microphone with third parties?
Are liberals really going to allow this steady march into dystopia to continue? And if liberals and Democrats aren't willing to fight it, who will?
Privacy isn't really about privacy. It's about power. There is strong evidence that a system is either up and running, or in the process of implementation, to record everything said on American phones and store it.
Imagine being 32 years old, and launching your first campaign for congress, when suddenly a recording surfaces of you in your early twenties, saying things that will harm your campaign or worse.
Or maybe your a political operative for a labor union, plotting to unionize WalMart. Or an environmental activist planning a demonstration.
The possibilities are endless.
The Snowden revelations don't appear to have done anything to even slow down the race to put every single American citizen inside a glass box - from the push by big online services providers like Google and Yahoo to force their users to give up their real ID, to ever increasingly complex schemes to track our movements online, Wall Street, not the government, is creating the surveillance state Orwell never dreamed of.
Not that the government isn't helping them. But it's clear who the real culprits are. And it ends with Inc.