I didn't wake up after the end of Media Center -- for streaming, do I need new TV?

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Fallen Kell

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
5,771
296
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But they're not actually recording before the wake word. I would think you'd know that.

These devices wait to hear a waveform that matches their wake word before they spring into action. Until that happens, they're not capturing anything for posterity. You just have to ask the police for proof. There have been a couple of cases where law enforcement demanded Echo voice data from Amazon, assuming they would have a recording of a possible murder... only to be disappointed as it turned out the speakers don't, in fact, record everything all the time.

The issue, as you noted, is that voice assistants occasionally mistake sounds for the wake word and capture unintended snippets. I'm glad companies offered more control over what happens with the data they review (Apple seems to be the best about it, since you can opt out entirely on setup), but I'll admit it's a mixed bag even if I know the recordings are anonymized and random. Ditto any visual information sent to improve AI; I don't think it's done in a way that can be seriously abused, but it's still the case that someone else might look at clips of your security cam or video doorbell footage.

However, I can't find instances where staff accessed specific users' Alexa/Assistant/Siri recordings... do you have links for that? I can see that Google fired someone in 2010 for listening to VoIP data, but that's clearly very different. The other reports I've seen haven't included voice assistant data.

The point is not that there's no potential for abuse; of course there is. It's that there's no evidence to support the dystopian fears some have. Amazon, Apple and Google are not recording everything you say, cackling with glee as they use your living room conversations to target ads and give free rein to stalkers. They aren't that malicious, and the technical requirements for doing this would very likely be impractical (massive amounts of storage and computational power to screen 24/7 recordings for hundreds of millions of people). As I like to put it: the truth is often far more boring than we want it to be.
Ok, so you really think companies who's main line of business is collecting data on people to then sell targeted ads to them is not going to collect data that you authorized them to collect so that they can look at it to better target ads to those people?








Now these are just examples of people being fired for accessing the data or using it to stalk people who were caught by the internal monitors. Some of the above goes into the broad extent that the data is being shared and used by contractors. And some of the above shows how easy it is for someone to add a third-party connection to these devices that gives them access to the data. Many of these are doing EXACTLY what you say they are not doing, using these recording to listen into the living room conversations to better target ads. The technical requirements have been vastly dropping for doing this. Heck some of the companies tried to open up about what is being kept and gives you access to listen to the recordings, and you will be amazed with how much is there, and all of it can be used to target ads and train the algorithms.
 

mindless1

Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
6,989
979
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I couldn't tell you if google is good at targeting ads from my searches, because I block practically all of them, but if I didn't... seems like a targeted ad would at least be something more interesting to me than something random or trending, or overpriced because the company spent boatloads on their advertising budget.

I take that back, I do still see the google placed search hit, ad text/links, but it's practically always what I was searching for anyway, like search for name of store I intended to browse to.
 

Commodus

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 2004
8,851
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Ok, so you really think companies who's main line of business is collecting data on people to then sell targeted ads to them is not going to collect data that you authorized them to collect so that they can look at it to better target ads to those people?

*snip for concision*

Now these are just examples of people being fired for accessing the data or using it to stalk people who were caught by the internal monitors. Some of the above goes into the broad extent that the data is being shared and used by contractors. And some of the above shows how easy it is for someone to add a third-party connection to these devices that gives them access to the data. Many of these are doing EXACTLY what you say they are not doing, using these recording to listen into the living room conversations to better target ads. The technical requirements have been vastly dropping for doing this. Heck some of the companies tried to open up about what is being kept and gives you access to listen to the recordings, and you will be amazed with how much is there, and all of it can be used to target ads and train the algorithms.
Never said that. I'm just saying that the claim of "they're recording everything you say, all the time" isn't supported by evidence, and that it's a serious stretch to think the companies are so sinister that they want to listen to your entire hi-how-was-work conversation in the off chance they can target some extra ads.

And it's positions like that which hurt the chances for a nuanced discussion about very real privacy problems. It should be possible to raise concerns about the privacy of voice clips without insisting that Amazon or Google is recording everyone 24/7. We should be pushing for stricter limits on employee access to data without painting the entire company as a bunch of cartoonish villains who'd sell their parents if it meant more ad revenue. We can't tackle the actual issues if we keep focusing on our worst fears.
 

Red Squirrel

No Lifer
May 24, 2003
62,931
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twitter.com
It's very hard to buy a non smart TV now days, so I would try to make that TV last. I have a Samsung that's around 10 years old and it only has basic smart features, but it still works if not plugged into a network. I don't know about newer ones. It seems most products now days want you to make an account, use an app and other BS like that just to get to use it. So I would assume some smart TVs do this too, and you only find out once you open it and go to use it.
 

mindless1

Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
6,989
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^ My oldest LCD TV is a Samsung, as is my newest.

Yes I made (or really, already had because of my phone) a Samsung account, and it wanted me to use an app but it's really not necessary, but it blew me away when I saw how many free stream *channels*, integrated into the remote (I mean just press channel # or up/down channel buttons, no BS wading through menus to get to content) so it's not a PITA to use that.

Samsung's built in TV app, if I really had to, I could get away with just having the samsung free channels plus OTA plus internet sources, and internet obviously needed anyway for the samsung free streaming, or just Life In General.

Tizen OS though, I had no desire to add andriod apps, but Tizen has been rock solid stable while my last Android TV, far from it.
 

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