Your television is spying on you

I have known for a very long time that today’s televisions are sending data back home at an unprecedented scale. Companies like Samsung make tv’s so cheap, you have to be the product one way or the other. We have a Sony set running Android so it’s bound to send data back too - it’s in the nature of the software it’s running. Even if we’re not using the built-in OS it will know when I’ve selected the HDMI input for my Xbox, I’m sure.

Apparently Vizio, a brand that’s not as popular in Europe as it is in the US, is even worse at it.

My parents’ brand new Vizio P-Series TV (which is not set up to stream anything, they have an Apple TV) pings a server 10x more than any other device they own

— nilay patel (@reckless) 6 januari 2019

I’ve long campaigned for dumb tv’s - a big screen with a bunch of HDMI inputs and nothing else. I can connect my own devices thank you very much. Yet companies refuse because it seems like they are forced to monetize their devices beyond the initial sale.

The biggest problem with modern so-called smart tv’s however is the fact that the manufacturer stops updating the software after one maybe two years. Even our relatively new tv doesn’t get the latest Android updates anymore, depriving the device of essential security patches.

Modern tv’s are fucked and the biggest risk to your home network. I would gladly pay a premium for a big 4K HDR screen with 6 HDMI inputs and nothing else. A true dumb tv to counteract the world we live in where everything has an IP address.

It’s time these companies start listening to their customers instead of their shareholders.

Consider this your reminder to disconnect your tv from your network.