The recent controversy over Samsung “smart TVs” listening in on owners has led to an Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) complaint to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. According to John Ribeiro at InfoWorld, the privacy group “has asked the FTC to investigate and stop the practice by Samsung of collecting private communications and transmitting the recordings to a third party.” But in the worst case, assuming the allegations are true, Samsung would only be doing what the NSA already does: using your electronic gadgets to spy on you. “Users are ‘so outraged’ by the company’s recording and transmission practices that they are calling for class action lawsuits,” said Ribeiro, paraphrasing EPIC.
The irony is that this kind of outrage is directed against a company whose products were purchased voluntarily. The simple opt-out is to buy a different product. NSA spying, however, is mandatory and apparently fails to receive the same kind of outrage. Presumably, that’s because the NSA is only interested in citizens’ well-being. And if you believe that, I have a bridge or two or three to sell you.
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