- Users who have agreed to the terms of the IBA services on Samsung TVs are having their viewing preferences recorded.
- Samsung gathers everything, from what Netflix shows you are watching to what TV channels you prefer.
- This Video Privacy Protection Act should have been updated already to cover digital services, but it isn’t.
An indication of the fact that the TV phones back home could come when the user realizes that the ads they are being served with are suspiciously relevant to the content they like to consume. This includes watching stuff on Netflix, or videos on Facebook. Everything that the user watches and does on the TV is captured on a screenshot, and sometimes, even on a short video snippet. From channels to websites, and from tuner information to dates and times, everything is recorded and sent to Samsung for evaluation.
As the Private Internet Access blog points out, it is illegal for video rental stores to share the customers’ rental history and viewing preferences with third parties. Due to the fact that the law is so dated, there is no provision for digital equivalents such as Netflix. This means that what Samsung does is technically legal, but based on what is easily deduced from the spirit of the law, their practices are pretty much unethical. Still, gathering user data for targeted advertising purposes is something that everyone does, not just Samsung, so the associated legislation has failed the end-user on multiple levels and across the full spectrum of the products we are using today.