University researchers say that smart TVs are leaking sensitive, private user information to companies including Google, Facebook, and Netflix.
As reported by the Financial Times, smart television sets produced by popular vendors including Samsung, Apple, and LG, alongside content and app streaming devices such as Amazon's FireTV and Roku, are sending out information potentially without the knowledge or consent of users.
Academics from Northeastern University and Imperial College London examined 81 Internet of Things (IoT) devices in the US and UK, including TVs, smart home hubs, and appliances.
In a paper titled, "Information Exposure From Consumer IoT Devices," (.PDF), the team said that 34,586 controlled experiments revealed a total of 71 out of 81 devices send information to destinations other than the device manufacturer; 56 percent of US devices and 83.8 percent of UK products will leak information abroad, and every device involved in the study exposes information via at least one plaintext flow.
User and device behavior, in 30 out of 81 cases, can be "reliably inferred" from eavesdropping whether or not information flows are encrypted. This may include our interactions with television sets and other household IoT products.
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