Jul 5, 2018

Smart TVs are watching us now

A woman walking by Panasonic Smart TVs. Photo: Adam Berry/Getty Images

"How Smart TVs in Millions of U.S. Homes Track More Than What’s on Tonight," by N.Y. Times' Sapna Maheshwari: "[D]ata companies have harnessed new technology to immediately identify what people are watching on internet-connected TVs, then using that information to send targeted advertisements to other devices in their homes."

Why it matters: "Samba TV[, one of those data companies,] has even offered advertisers the ability to base their targeting on whether people watch conservative or liberal media outlets and which party’s presidential debate[s] they watched."

  • "Samba TV has struck deals with roughly a dozen TV brands — including Sony, Sharp, TCL and Philips — to place its software on certain sets."
  • "When people set up their TVs, a screen urges them to enable a service called Samba Interactive TV, saying it recommends shows and provides special offers 'by cleverly recognizing onscreen content.' But the screen, which contains the enable button, does not detail how much information Samba TV collects to make those recommendations."
  • "Samba TV ... said at the end of 2016 that more than 90 percent of people opted in."
  • "Once enabled, Samba TV can track nearly everything that appears on the TV on a second-by-second basis, essentially reading pixels to identify network shows and ads, as well as programs on Netflix and HBO and even video games played on the TV."

Go deeper

In photos: Protests over George Floyd's death grip Minneapolis

The Third Police Precinct burns in Minneapolis on Thursday night. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Demonstrators demanding justice burned a Minneapolis police station and took control of the streets around it last night, heaving wood onto the flames, kicking down poles with surveillance cameras and torching surrounding stores.

What's happening: The crowd was protesting the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man whose life was snuffed out Tuesday by a white Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on his neck for about eight minutes.

Minneapolis mayor to Trump: “Weakness is pointing your finger” during a crisis

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey fired back at President Trump on Friday, after the president accused the mayor of weak leadership amid violence sparked by the killing of an unarmed black man by a white police officer.

Driving the news: Trump made his accusations in a pair of tweets early Friday, saying he would bring the national guard into Minneapolis if Frey couldn't “bring the City under control.” 

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

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