You Invited Them In


“Oh Dave!  Dave!  Oh my, oh, oh!, OOHHHHHHHHHH!”

Yes, that’s you, Virginia, having an orgasm.  But Dave’s not your boyfriend — or husband.  He’s your next door neighbor.  Your husband is at work, and you’re playing around.  All privately, or so you believe.

Unfortunately that’s not quite true.  See, Jim, your husband, has suspected you’re having an affair.  Now in days gone past he might have bought a tape recorder and hid it somewhere, hoping to catch you in the act.  Today he just asked your TV to turn on its microphone — the same TV that you think is off — and….. divorce papers will be served within the hour.

“Heh Mike, let’s smoke that joint, shall we?”

“OPEN UP!  This is the POLICE!  You’re under arrest!”

How did they know you were about to smoke that joint in your own living room?  Simple — your TV was recording your voice, and guess what — the cops were listening.  No warrant required.

How dumb are you America?

Very.  You have invited unknown, faceless strangers — and your government — right into your living room — and bedroom.

I just bought a new TV. The old one had a good run, but after the volume got stuck on 63, I decided it was time to replace it. I am now the owner of a new “smart” TV, which promises to deliver streaming multimedia content, games, apps, social media, and Internet browsing. Oh, and TV too.

The only problem is that I’m now afraid to use it. You would be too — if you read through the 46-page privacy policy.

The amount of data this thing collects is staggering. It logs where, when, how, and for how long you use the TV. It sets tracking cookies and beacons designed to detect “when you have viewed particular content or a particular email message.” It records “the apps you use, the websites you visit, and how you interact with content.” It ignores “do-not-track” requests as a considered matter of policy.


The TV boasts a “voice recognition” feature that allows viewers to control the screen with voice commands. But the service comes with a rather ominous warning:“Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party.” Got that? Don’t say personal or sensitive stuff in front of the TV.

Like the name of your lover, or even voicing that you have one (like, for instance, having an orgasm where it can hear you when your husband or wife is at work!)  Or, the cough of a slightly too-big hit off the bong, or the invitation to roll that doobie.

Yeah, America, you invited this into your living room, which would be bad enough — but what’s worse is that you also invited it into your bedroom.  And there it will be, faceless and, you think, “off” — when reality is that it is plugged in and very much “on.”

Uh huh.


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