Smart TVs and home appliances connected to the Internet, including speakers, cameras and even refrigerators, collect consumers’ personal data and send it to major technology companies, researchers warned.
It is said that sensitive information, such as the exact location of a person, is sent to companies, such as Facebook, Amazon and Netflix, even if the person is not a customer of those companies, and the devices are idle.
The findings from a team from Northeastern University in Boston and Imperial College London came as concerns about privacy infiltration made headlines around the world.
David Choffnes, a computer scientist at Northeastern University, said: “Amazon is contacted by almost half of the devices in our tests, which means that Amazon can deduce a lot of information about what you do with the different devices in your home, including devices you don’t make. .
81 devices – including LG and Samsung products – were monitored in the United States and the United Kingdom to determine how much personal data was recorded and where it was sent, according to the Financial Times.
The researchers found that 72 of the devices sent data to a destination that was not the device manufacturer itself, and said: The companies that are frequently contacted by devices include Google, Microsoft and Akamai, due to the fact that they provide cloud services and networks to run smart devices.
Companies can then use this data to set preferences for smart TV viewers, who interact with them, and even estimate when they are out of the house, raising security concerns.
The ability of large technology companies to determine the geography of the user is a growing concern among consumers, as iPhone owners complained that Facebook is asking them to allow their application to remotely access the Bluetooth feature, which can be used to track their movements.
Netflix said: “The information that Netflix receives from smart TVs is limited to how Netflix performs and the service appears on the screen, and we do not receive any information about applications or other activities on smart TVs.”
Facebook said: It is common for devices and apps to send data to their third-party services, which could include, for example, an app that sends data to Facebook to create a login interface or provide a Like button.
“When customers choose to opt out of interest-based advertising, we ask that app developers not use the ad ID to create user profiles for advertising purposes or show interest-based ads,” said an Amazon spokesman. “We also ask all third-party applications that collect personal information from users of the Fire TV platform to provide a privacy alert that reveals the information they collect from the customer and how to use it.”