The stories over recent days around "listening" TVs and the potential for loss of personal data or privacy resulting highlight a dilemma which we will be talking about for a long time. While there are elements of choice in the extent to which people place their personal life in the public domain (Facebook, other social media), clearly also the technology choices we are presented with can influence the picture. If all the TVs on the market were to have the voice activation feature that has been in the news (yesterday it was Samsung, but LG and other manufacturers have made similar statements) then it would be impossible to avoid this risk, unless you stick with older technology. This raises legal as well as other questions which have not yet been fully worked through. To what extent does the manufacturer owe duties to the consumer in these circumstances, for example?
People who use smart devices that monitor what they do will have to get used to giving up some privacy, warns a top technologist. Prof Will Stewart of the Institution of Engineering and Technology said privacy loss was "intrinsic" to such gadgets. His comments come after Samsung warned about a voice activation feature on some of its televisions. It warned people to avoid talking about personal issues in front of their TV in case it grabbed sensitive information