Welcome to the Panoptican

Netflix. Roku. Smart-TVs. They are all spying on you. Facebook and Google have ad trackers on your streaming TV, studies find.

Modern TV, coming to you over the Internet instead of through cable or over the air, has a modern problem: all of your Internet-connected streaming devices are watching you back and feeding your data to advertisers. Two independent sets of researchers this week released papers that measure the extent of the surveillance your TV is conducting on you. They also sort out who exactly is benefiting from the massive amounts of consumer data that is taken with or without consumer knowledge.

They just can’t stand the idea that you have any privacy. Or that you think thoughts they don’t approve of, but that’s another story.

5 thoughts on “Welcome to the Panoptican

  1. Every time we learn that these giant (Liberal) tech companies are spying on their users, they say “Oops” and tell us it was a mistake. Truth is, that’s their business. Taking your data and life and SELLING IT !!!!


  2. Well, that clears up a little mystery for me.

    About 18 months ago, we cut the cord and switched to streaming TV. Our service has largely been Google’s YouTubeTV served over a Roku stick. We’d be watching a movie or maybe had the TV on and walked out of the room, and the system would go back to the top level. If we were watching, we’d see a message saying, “are you still watching?” We always say, “what’s it to you? Why should you care?” The time out seems to be four hours. If the channel hasn’t changed in four hours, they dump you to the top level – Roku, not YTTV. I’ve had it dump me during a movie that I’m watching.

    I bet they’re selling that their checks demonstrate higher chances that someone is actually watching and will see the commercials.

    As if sitting in the room watching the TV precludes you from hitting the mute button or looking at something else.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There is some indication that if you configure it correctly, you can use a PI-hole to intercept everything and dump the calls to the trackers into the bit bucket. But I haven’t played around with Raspberry PI. Maybe it is time to start. (Though it isn’t clear to me how it would dump Google trackers without dumping all of Google. Time to dig into the inner workings of intercepting DNS queries.


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