Technology Other News 11 Jun 2017 Shocking: Apple, Sam ...

Shocking: Apple, Samsung are allegedly spying on users

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Jun 11, 2017, 4:58 pm IST
Updated Jun 12, 2017, 8:52 am IST
Privacy watchdogs have explained that Samsung is using these technologies to promote its own devices.
Samsung has integrated a technology called beacons which is used to track user activity when connected to the internet.
 Samsung has integrated a technology called beacons which is used to track user activity when connected to the internet.

Samsung may be embroiled in another snooping scandal. A British newspaper has discovered that Korean manufacturer is operating technology to monitor online activity and to collect data of users who have purchased these devices.

According to a report from The Sun, Samsung has integrated a technology called beacons which is used to track user activity when connected to the internet. The technology also used to collect information regarding specific content on the phone or even email messages of the users.

 

Privacy watchdogs have explained that Samsung is using these technologies to promote its own devices, and has accused the company of tricking people into agreeing with the use of beacons without them knowing exactly what they are agreeing with.

Samsung has however denied the allegations.

Jim Killock, Executive Director of Open Rights Group, told the cited source that Samsung is becoming a “peeping Tom” and it is “taking spying on their customers to a whole new level.”

In its privacy policy, Samsung explains that it’s using beacons to collect information, and most users agree with it simply because only a few of them actually read the documents.

“We, along with certain third parties, also may use technologies called beacons or pixels that communicate information from your device to a server,” Samsung explains.

“Beacons can be embedded in online content, videos and emails and allow a server to read certain types of information from your device and it knows when you have viewed particular content or a particular email message, determine the time and date on which you viewed the beacon and the IP address of your device.”

Samsung has, in a separate statement, stated that it’s not using ultrasonic beacon technology, which is considered far worse and which could be used for more complex snooping on devices.

“We would like to assure our customers that ultrasonic beacon technology is not embedded on Samsung mobile devices. Our privacy policy on beacons applies to the use of web beacons, a technology that is widely used across the industry and differs significantly to that of ultrasonic beacons. There is no relation between ultrasonic beacons and the functions embedded in our mobile products,” Samsung says.

“If you’re not paying attention to the permissions you grant, you could be feeding marketers and other entities information about your online browsing, what stores you go to and your product preferences without realising it,” Tristan Liverpool, Director of Systems Engineering, F5 Networks, said.

Now Samsung is not the only company which uses beacons to collect user data, as Apple has also turned to similar tech which it has integrated into its websites, online services, emails, and adverts. The Cupertino based company has however stated that the data is not shared with third party companies, and the IP address is kept secret, which means it does not create profiles for each user that’s monitored.

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