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This protects you from data theft

You know it security: You are watching a movie and suddenly there are commercials in the middle of the picture, even in the TV menu. Or do you get “Smart TV Announcement” is displayed. privacy or the collection of data also play an important role in smart televisions, as cases such as that of Samsung and its Smart TVs from the end of 2020 or even current examples. In principle, however, this problem affects all devices with an Internet connection. The difficulty: many users are not aware of data collection, although awareness of the potential “espionage“ is potentially there among consumers. Also in politics, the development of data protection for Smart TV is still in its infancy.

Smart TVs access this information

Since initially there is no accommodation on the part of the manufacturers, the question arises: What can be done in the face of data collection? The first step in the right direction is realizing that no matter what device you use to browse the Internet, you leave a digital footprint behind.

It is important to know that many manufacturers have a general and uniform data protection policy. This means that if you use a smartphone and a TV from the same company, for example, you agree to certain privacy and marketing choices on the TV, which then apply to your mobile phone as well. However, this is not always the case – if in doubt: report. In addition to the television manufacturer, app developers, Internet portal operators and Co. also use your data for advertising purposes (cross-media).

With regard to data collection, a distinction should be made between three different categories:

  • Device Information: IP-Address, location, device number or advertising ID
  • user data: date of birth, contact details, email address or bank details
  • User behavior on television: user interactions with the TV, such as cursor movement or websites visited

Consequently, you should always ask yourself what information your TV can collect about you and what data you want to share.

Smart TV and data protection: Act

The manufacturers and their marketing and advertising intentions are not imposed on you, on the contrary: you can actively object to the data collection. There are different possibilities for this.

If you are about to buy a Smart TV, you can inform yourself in advance about the manufacturer’s usual data protection regulations. Don’t forget: the software updatewarranty. Provides information on how long your device is kept up to date and you can use it safely. If the software and company are not updated, the risk of security breaches increases. The problem: Only a few manufacturers offer information on their website about their data protection regulations.

If you have already bought the TV but have not yet put it into operation, this is where the time comes. When setting up, actively commit to data protection regulations and take the time to read them, including the fine print. Then you can also oppose any request and disable the setting. Bottom line: If you want to protect your data, allow as little as possible from the start. Of course, you can change all these options later in the system settings.

Avoid data collection: These tricks will help you

In addition to unchecking the correct boxes in your TV’s system settings, there are other things you can do to protect yourself.

  • Beware of security updates: Updates update your Smart TV and ensure safe use by closing security gaps. If you are offered an update, install it.
  • Uninstall apps: Apps are also pre-installed on your TV or you have installed many apps yourself. All apps collect data even when you stop using them. So: delete all the apps on your TV that you no longer need.
  • disable apps: This includes apps like HbbTV (Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV), which is usually stored under the red button on the remote. If you press the button, HbbTV gives you background information from the network about the program you are currently watching. If you don’t control your TV with voice commands, turn off voice recognition. The same applies to integrated webcams.
  • Avoid compulsive purchases: You should refrain from browsing, buying or consuming things on the Smart TV where sensitive data, such as bank or account details, are requested. In this way you can protect yourself in general and above all in a simple way.
  • Disconnect Internet connection: If the time comes and you feel insecure, you can also disconnect your smart TV from the Internet. You can then use Internet-based applications, such as Netflix, but no longer use. In this case, the question also arises as to whether it makes sense to buy a smart television.

The Federal Cartel Office is clear: Smart TVs are defective

The fact that there is a need to act on Internet-enabled TVs was already recognized in 2020. Federal Cartel Office . In a report (Summer 2020), the office assessed the computer security and Data protection for Smart TV as inadequate. The reasons: TVs analyze the behavior of their users, such as browsing behavior or clicks or apps that are used frequently. Added to this is the collection of biometric data, such as voice. The goal: personalized advertising.

In addition, it is not clear to consumers if and which data is collected. To change the privacy settings, a huge effort is required. You will need to review your system settings and look for the appropriate options to disable them. Other than that, there is a lack of guaranteed computer security, such as updates from the manufacturer, says the Federal Cartel Office.