3OYS: Privacy issues; be aware but not consumed with it

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

TEMPE, Ariz -- There has been a lot of discussion lately about hackers being able to take over the controls of your car when you're driving. However, technology experts we talked to say you shouldn't worry.

"Just because they showed it can be done, doesn't mean it's literally possible in today's world," says Ken Colburn, a technology expert who runs a company called Data Doctors.

He says while taking over a car's controls remotely is possible, it's not likely. "In the real world, there's only been one actual car hacking incident that anybody's ever reported, and it was from a disgruntled employee at a car dealership and had access to the vehicle."

And even if a hacker could pull it off, Colburn says the planning of it all would be a tall order. "As far as cars being taken over on the freeway, it's mostly science fiction at this point. The dots that need to be connected before it becomes a real threat to you and I, they're still quite a ways off."

Besides car-hacking technology, consumers have also been talking a lot about Samsung's new TV which like other smart TVs has a voice activation option. The option lets you talk to your TV to choose channels for example. However, Samsung recently revealed that its TV actually records voices and sends the recordnigs to a third party in order to improve the voice feature.

"That term and condition is really to alert you to the fact that when you ask your television for a really sophisticated search condition, it's going to go to a third party, figure out what you just said, and bring that information back," says Colburn.

While Samsung’s new TV does send your commands to a third party, experts like Colburn say the TV really isn't recording your private conversations like many people believed. "Because of the way that the terms and conditions were worded, a lot of people kind of ran with that and kind of created this Internet sensation," he says.

Colburn says the program Samsung uses comes from the same company that makes Siri used by Apple. So, again, if using Siri doesn't bother you then Colburn says Samsung's new smart TV shouldn’t bother you either. "The reality is, if you're going to be paranoid about a smart TV, you really probably ought to look at that device in your pocket first. It's doing a whole lot more to your privacy than your TV ever will."

For additional information about smart TVs visit:

www.datadoctors.com/help/columns/22026-NO-youre-Smart-TV-isnt-Snooping-on-you/

www.computerworld.com/article/2505402/security0/car-hacking--remote-access-and-other-security-issues.html