Smart devices: Is privacy loss inevitable?

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. Widespread publicity about the privacy policy for some Samsung Smart TV sets has led the South Korean firm to clarify when such sets listen to what people say.
Rather than listening all the time, the voice activation feature works only when people press a button on a remote control and speak into a microphone, it said. At these times, anything said will be recorded and sent across the net for analysis to work out what that person said. It added that it did not retain any audio or sell it on.
The publicity prompted a wider discussion about other ways in which smart TVs intrude on privacy or limit the control that people have over how they use them. It brought to light an older report about unwanted adverts appearing on smart TV sets and reports by owners of smart TVs who said they lost access to some features if they did not consent to a manufacturer’s privacy policy.