If you have a Sony, Sharp, Magnavox, Toshiba or Philips smart TV, Samba Interactive TV is probably installed on it. It is a service that recommends shows and provides special offers based on your onscreen content, or at least that is what they tell you. You are asked to enable it when you turn on your new flat screen for the first time. As 90% of people say yes, it is probably a good bet that you did to.
Unfortunately Samba Interactive TV isn’t the only service that tracks what viewers watch. In fact Vizio was fined for using the similar automatic content recognition (ACR) technology to deliver targeted content. With TVs tracking your every move, how do you protect your privacy? Thankfully, Consumer Reports has a list of smart TVs and how to turn off ACR.
This is just another reminder that as consumers we need to take more interest in privacy policies and terms and conditions before we sign up for a service. We have the right to choose to trade our privacy for convenience. However, before we make that choice we should be aware of exactly what we are giving up and to whom.