About That “Smart TV” Santa Brought You


It is likely watching you and your viewing habits.

Just saying.


And likely so too the others.

18 responses to “About That “Smart TV” Santa Brought You

  1. Mike Bishop



  2. Stealth Spaniel

    Okay, now I feel creepy. I thought that since my Vizio was about 7 yr., that it wouldn’t have spyware……..silly me! What if I disconnect it from cable, and just use netflix or amazon prime? What happens if you just use it for dvds? What happened to secure in my person, papers, etc? I know it’s old fashioned reasoning, but I’m an old fashioned girl.

    • POd American

      If you want to feel really creeped out, watch any testimony given by Clapper to a congressional committee.

    • NightWatcher

      If by “cable” you mean the RG-6/11/59 coax, you are probably safe leaving it as it is. Since without an interface (such as cable modem) the interface is only one-way (i.e. incoming).

      If the “device” (TV, etc.) has any other connection which gives it a network address (WiFi, BlueTooth, HDMI or USB), you have given it a mechanism to “phone home”.

      In other words, NetFlix and Amazon Prime (typically via HDMI or WiFi connection) give it network connectivity.

    • SS,
      If you connect the SmartTV in any way, cable, ethernet, wifi, then it WILL phone home or phone data to a 3rd party. Supposedly you can “decline” the phone home capability in the “privacy policy menu area” but if you believe that I have some land in South FL I’ll sell you. Not only that but the newer SmartTVs have a camera and microphone just like your laptop or phone. IF you disconnect the SmartTV from all types of networking then what you have is a 50″ monitor good for playing BluRays or DVDs. Further, you could connect your laptop/PC via HDMI to the SmartTV and use Netflix via your computer.

      IMHO, the “safest” play would be to use the SmartTV as a LARGE monitor and feed it video and audio with your “locked down” computer via HDMI. Your laptop then could go and do what you want online (cable channels, news, movies, etc) without the SmartTV phoning home or risking the camera and microphone in the TV being hacked. Additionally you should know your laptop will be tracked at some level and it is susceptible to having the camera and microphone hacked.

      Grey Ghost

      • You can turn off the internal mic by inserting a mic plug (with no mic attached) into the mic jack of your computer.

      • The only certain way you can secure a device is to, physically, disable the camera and microphone (cut the wires). Any “settings” can be altered by hacking.
        As for “tracking”, once you connect to the net, you’ve already declared to the world you’re on-line and exposed what you’re watching habits are.
        You want “security”? Stay off-line.
        Sorry, folks, welcome to 1984…

    • Johnny Red Walker

      1. It watches you and transmits the data over it’s network link. that may be a wired or wireless network. Disconnecting the cable is useless at stopping this data leak.

      2. Your cable company is already doing the same thing if you have a “Digital Cable Box” or digital cable hooked directly into the TV. They also resell that data to any and everyone willing to pay or submit a National Security Letter.

      3. If you have a Netflix or Amazon Prime subscription please be aware that they take particular interest in what you watch so that you can be marketed to by amazon.com, 3rd party affiliates, and monitored by the government if you pique their interest.

      4. Satellite dish people don’t go getting all smug and superior. You’re being monitored as well. The old receivers wanted to be hooked to a phone line. The newer ones have several other ways to get the data out depending on what setup you have.

      There are exactly four ways to not be monitored by outside parties while watching the boob tube.

      1. Don’t watch TV.

      2. Only watch content from NON-INTERNET ENABLED DVD PLAYERS or VCRs.

      3. Do not hook your TV to the Internet or a Cable TV Provider. I.E. only watch Over the Air Transmissions.

      4. Watch only older “Analog” cable if your cable provider still offers that service. If it goes through a digital tuner box or your TV’s built in digital tuner you are being watched, catalogued, and profiled.

    • All the prior comments are spot on. Now it is possible to prevent the TV from phoning home if you have the right set up. If you have a manageable cable modem or gateway box specifically. Since it is known that the Vizio set is talking to a single site, it is possible to block the outbound transmission at the cable box or gateway device. My concern is that the only site that the TV is talking to?

      Personally Vizio (and any other mfr) should provide the buyer access to the OS on the unit. We could then turn off such snooping at the source.

  3. Disconnect your TV cam, MANUALLY and PHYSICALLY. I did to my lap top.

  4. And now you can do voice and gesture commands as well as thumbprint and facial recognition for you devices. Surely that data isn’t going across the Internet and being stored anywhere. Next thing you know corporations and governments will be accessing the Internet capable cameras in your home security system.

  5. Owners of Vizio TVs with the normal VIA (VIZIO Internet Apps) interface can press the Menu button on the remote, open Settings, highlight Smart Interactivity and switch it to off.


  6. Alfred E. Neuman

    Reblogged this on FOR GOD AND COUNTRY.

  7. I learned that the latest generation of hearing aids can automatically connect to your Smart TV … and other devices… which is great if you don’t want to miss the dialogue from your favourite TV show.

    Since your TV connects to the internet, then presumably, everything that you both hear and say is available to anyone with the facility to interrogate your TV/hearing aid. That includes State’ actors, such as the NSA and GCHQ; and other criminals who may want no more than to hear you pass along your Credit Card details as you make a purchase over the telephone.

  8. Who actually watches that garbage?

    Haven’t had teevee in years.

    Maybe hat’s why my brain works a lot better than most-even here.

    yoo hoo granpoop…I’m over here, no over here, now I’m behind you. he he

    • I begin to fear for tfA-t’s sanity. He needs to get off his private island. Get out more. See people, do things. Right now he could be cruising the boulevards of Detroit in a Black&Yellow 1989 Ford LTD Crown Vic Ghetto Blaster. Price just reduced, incidentally, to $22,000.00 + shipping.