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Tech Industry Push for Privacy


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drewprops
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2020-10-25, 12:22

I was just reading about Microsoft's Judy Brill rant about the need for better privacy and before I even read it wanted to share my kneejerk reaction of her ire being later to the game than even Apple. I have to assume (before I even read her piece) that enhanced privacy represents the next profit center.

Edit: it's a good blog post


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anna115
BANNED
I am a filthy spammer.
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
 
2020-11-03, 08:52

Hi
how are you?
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2020-11-03, 11:01

Hello fine. How are you?

Do you live in Toledo by chance?
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drewprops
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2020-11-03, 14:10

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
Hello fine. How are you?

Do you live in Toledo by chance?
No offense to our new member, but we really do need to introduce some sort of interview process for new members, as there have been entirely too many Canadians joining as of late. And not just any Canadians, but Torontons!


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Steve Jobs ate my cat's watermelon.
Captain Drew on Twitter
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2020-11-03, 14:45

Quote:
Originally Posted by drewprops View Post
Torontons!


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Isn't that one of those Star Warsy animal thingys?
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drewprops
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2020-11-03, 19:49

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
Isn't that one of those Star Warsy animal thingys?
You'll never make it past the first marker!!!


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kscherer
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2020-11-04, 12:32

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Frank777
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Toronto
 
2021-02-06, 15:04

I was going to start a new thread in Purchasing Advice, but this is broadly privacy-related.

Our Toronto cable provider (Rogers) has a new system based on Comcast X1, and their legacy system has suddenly become unwatchable most of the week. I think they are clearly trying to move customers over to the new platform so they can cancel the old one and save on costs. It's somewhat annoying, but that's not my biggest problem with this.

This new platform comes with voice remotes, with no other alternatives I can see. That means that if we should move over, we will now have six remotes scattered across the house with microphones embedded in them. They say the mics only activate with a button press, but that would seem to be easily hackable. I might (mostly) trust Apple to lock down the mics on my phone and keep the software updated, but the cable company? Um, no.

Everything seems to have a microphone embedded in them nowadays. Whether it's cable remotes (or streaming Rokus and AppleTVs), Watches (which seem to be easily breached by the Saudi Embassy incident), game consoles, smart speakers, tvs, even smart thermostats, for some strange reason.

I might be paranoid, but this is going to come back to haunt us one day when we discover that corporate interests are listening to exactly what we say, and devious political interests are quietly piggybacking on them.

It was great to find out the other day that there's a non-voice remote available for the Apple TV, but that doesn't help with my Rogers/Comcast problem.

I think, at minimum, we need to pass a law that anything with a mic or camera embedded inside (active or not) needs to be identified clearly with a logo on the front of the box. And hopefully the tech teardowns we get in the future will start to encompass tips on how to deactivate a microphone if you wish.

Anyone have Rogers/Comcast X1 here? Can I just Zuckerberg the microphones with tape?
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PB PM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
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2021-02-06, 16:19

Shaw has had a similar system out west for a few years now, I wouldn't be surprised it's the same type of hardware Rogers is getting now since there are only a few manufactures actually making the boxes and remotes. If you are concerned about the remote you should be able to use a universal remote to bypass that issue. Just take the batteries out of the Rogers supplied remote.
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Frank777
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Toronto
 
2021-02-06, 23:32

Quote:
Originally Posted by PB PM View Post
Shaw has had a similar system out west for a few years now, I wouldn't be surprised it's the same type of hardware Rogers is getting now since there are only a few manufactures actually making the boxes and remotes. If you are concerned about the remote you should be able to use a universal remote to bypass that issue. Just take the batteries out of the Rogers supplied remote.
Thanks. Just checked and yes, Shaw did adopt the X1 platform a few years ago. It's funny that Comcast seems to allow you to use a Roku as a set top box, but Rogers won't.

I guess universal remotes will fit the bill for me.
It means added e-waste, but I really think we need to start paying more attention to privacy.
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PB PM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
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2021-02-07, 13:45

If you do go that route, don't get the high end Logitech remotes with a hub, they don't work with that platform, only the lower end models work.
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