50 Shades of Samsung - Privacy, Security or Convenience?

Samsung has been very naughty. And not the 50 shades of Grey kind.

Over the last weekend we discovered that Samsung has been playing "peeping Tom" in our homes. Through privacy disclosure, Samsung revealed that its TV sets might listen to our conversations and even share them with third parties (http://g3t.ca/Fii9y2). All the pundits and defenders of privacy are now racing to find the right adjectives to  properly scold Samsung and demand higher levels transparency from the company.

The Samsung case caught people's attention because the device is constantly monitoring sound  in your household and sending it to third party for analysis should  the detected sound be an actual TV command, say for instance "TV, turn off".  Still, people find this very disturbing yet this type of monitoring  is not a problem when they log on to Facebook, Gmail, Google search, Dropbox and so on.  There seems to be much less outrage where people readily share all their contacts, relationships, business plans or life problems. The argument that you in particular are not using the above mentioned services doesn't work much. Somebody either posted a picture of you there or sent document from that service and you replied.

Let's not stop there. Who spends more money on Internet security? You or your bank? Ok - most likely it's your bank. Since you have less money and time to build an internet security fortress, your network at home is much easier to break, which provides ready access to  your bank account, Facebook, Gmail, and Dropbox. Adding gasoline to the fire,  you just bought the latest gadget that allows you to remotely control the temperature of your home,  record movies, control security cameras and of course your new, too smart for it's own good, Samsung TV. The bigger problem is very few vendors choose to build the proper security measures into their devices so when (not if) any vulnerability is discovered,  few possess the ability recognise it and fix the problem.

There should be less concern about where Samsung is sending your conversation, and more concern about what will your TV do when it's hacked.

When purchasing the latest gadgets connected to the Internet of Things, we are trading privacy and security for comfort and convenience. Perhaps it would be better to buy a dumber TV and get off the couch to change the channel?

Trending this week ...

This week brought us some interesting, note-worthy articles and news:

- Another milestone for D-Wave - the makers of the quantum computers. D-Wave released its new processor, codename Washington. Congratulation!! --> http://g3t.ca/hVAvsz
- Small add-on device for smart phones can detect from a blood samples the HIV virus and syphilis. It can do it in 15 minutes and for a fraction of the cost, which you have to pay today. Smart use of smart phones --> http://g3t.ca/f3nNLP
- IBM Watson, the computer, which won Jeopardy few years ago, has extra tools the developers can use - speech-to-text, text-to-speech, visual recognition, concept insights, and tradeoff analytics  --> http://g3t.ca/2voehH
- Friends of BMW found security flaw in the car software controlling radio, windows and such. It took BMW a half year to fix the problem, which allowed their PR  department to brag about increased security and speedy innovation --> http://g3t.ca/D3W6wT
- This article is for all you accountants to decide if and how much money Amazon is loosing. Is it millions or billions? --> http://g3t.ca/mRoVeU
- If you get request for a call on Skype from a beautiful girl, be careful. It could be a Syrian army trying to hack your computer --> http://g3t.ca/qPmDaL
- Experts advice, which could help Sony minimize the damage caused by the hackers. Applicable to all companies --> http://g3t.ca/kcZtgP
- Do you want to know why Blackberry is so secure? They started with security when building the device. Apple, Google should learn from them --> http://g3t.ca/A6GLHb
- Android application masked as card game (with very dubious name) was actually malware, prompting users to download other applications and sending expensive SMS messages --> http://g3t.ca/dEC46O
- Samsung has been overtaken by Micromax in the India phone market --> http://g3t.ca/qwazIr
- FCC is proposing new rules around Net Neutrality. Ongoing battle between government and the industry --> http://g3t.ca/SK97qH
- Another week, another hack, another apology from CEO, this time it is Anthem, the second largest insurance company  --> http://g3t.ca/qURIp0
- As a public service, we prepared a template for apology letter in case of data breach. Feel free to customize for your specific situation --> http://g3t.ca/A0oyHp
- The Chinese online shopping portal Alibaba wants to be like Amazon. It is working on the drone delivery system --> http://g3t.ca/rIdOs8
- Restaurants in Singapore have hard time to find enough waiters. They are looking to use drones to help with the shortage --> http://g3t.ca/C8fY6f
- Check out even more trending topics here --> http://g3t.ca/UugOx8