'We Don't Want Our TVs To Watch Us'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Could new Internet- and video-enabled televisions be watching you, as you watch them?

Sen. Charles Schumer has called for uniform safety standards for the new TVs because he said your own television could be spying on you.

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As 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reported, many new Smart TVs have cameras built-in for video chat but have virtually no security.

Schumer speaking Sunday in Union Square said the cameras could be an open invitation to hackers.

“We all like to watch TV but we don’t want our TV to watch us,” said Schumer. “The problem is that hackers can hack into your TV and watch you for whatever purpose.”

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The senator has contacted two dozen TV manufacturers, urging them to institute minimum security standards on the Internet- and video-enabled devices.

“Simply put, criminals can hack into your Smart TV, spy on your family watching TV in the living room or your bedroom or anywhere else,” said Schumer. “They can hack into televisions located in businesses and use them to spy on competitors, stealing sensitive and critical information.”

Schumer said security researchers have been able to hack into these new Smart TVs with ease, giving them access to the TV’s camera and microphone and allowing them to access personal information.

“They could also be able, once you use a credit card for Netflix, to get that credit card number,” said Schumer.

Manufacturers have suggested that to combat hackers, consumers put tape over the camera or unplug the TV when it’s not in use, but Schumer said the burden shouldn’t be on the consumers alone.

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