If you believe that alone Appliances who can monitor your activities are smartphone and your digital assistants, then you're laughing! As a new survey showed, popular services that we use to track content from Internet, like the smart ones televisions, they are watching us closely!
The research, conducted by researchers at Princeton University and the University of Chicago, examined various OTT (Over The Top) services, including Roku and Amazon Fire TV and found that they watch and export data of their users. In this way, they also affect the numerous smart TVs connected to the Internet.
OTT services are equipped with data trackers. According to research, 69% of Roku channels have trackers, while Amazon Fire TV reaches 89% of channels. OTT services have been found to be linked to approximately 60 monitoring domains for data sharing.
These services are heavily dependent on advertising to monetize and collect user data, such as device identifiers, serial numbers, MAC WiFi addresses, and SSIDs. The data also includes the microphone, view history, and personal information of users.
In addition to targeted advertising, data can be provided to various application developers, thereby contributing to an act of data breach.
In addition, it was found that the API local remote control for OTT services is prone to error. The defect extracts users' location, retrieves installed channels, installs new channels and accesses device identifiers.
How was it discovered by the researchers?
The research paper indicates that the researchers involved in the study developed an automated system. The bot uploaded 1000 channels to Roku and Amazon Fire TV and gathered channel information from OTT channel stores.
The automated detector demonstrated human behavior and explored the possibilities of monitoring OTT services, passing through all channels as a real user.
The process was followed by channel interaction and video playback, as one would do.
After the process of collecting network data and monitoring encrypted communications, the detectors received the raw data and processed the collected data.
You can see the detailed study by here.
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