Pop-up ads on TVs? Say it ain't so!It's a bad week for Samsung. After the firm addressed privacy concerns, some of its Smart TVs began displaying annoying pop-up ads. Meanwhile, the White House plans to form a cybersecurity agency, and smartphone thefts decline thanks to kill switches.
Our greatest fears are coming true. Companies are testing pop-up television ads. I'm Bridget Carey, and this is your CNET update. It's been a bad week for Samsung. Not only is the company dealing with concerns of it's Smart TV's listening in on conversations. But now there are complaints that the Smart TV itself will show you pop-up ads when you're watching a movie. Some owners noticed a silent ad for Pepsi interrupted streaming video when using two apps. One is Plex, which is software that lets you stream video stored on your computer. The other is Foxtel Play. That's an app that installed on some of Samsung's Australian televisions. Samsung apologized, and says the problem has been fixed. But this little glitch doesn't come out of nowhere. Samsung has been working with Yahoo to create TV pop-up ads. And it all complicates consumer fears of Samsung spying on living room conversations by sending voice-command recordings to third parties. Samsung clarified that the third party is the stockwork company Nuance, which converts spoken commands into text. Let's hope that third party doesn't someday become an advertiser. And this wouldn't have blown up if Samsung was more transparent in the first place about what it does with voice data. In fact, we could use more transparency about data collection in all sorts of areas. Like cars. A U.S. Senate report released this week found that auto makers are constantly gathering information about drivers using onboard location tracking systems. That includes where the car has traveled and how long it has parked. Companies are storing that with outside data centers. Sometimes with little protection. The report also highlighted the lack of strong cybersecurity policies to protect drivers from hacking attacks. And, speaking of hacking, the White House is creating a new cybersecurity agency to track cyber threats and attacks. It's designed to share intelligence from various departments to better crack down on cyber terrorism and espionage. President Obama made cybersecurity a top priority after the crippling attack on Sony Pictures and the multiple hacks on retailers and tech companies last year. Don't forget, 80 million people now have to worry about fraud after Social Security numbers and other personal data was stolen. From health insurance provider Anthem. And that data by the way was not encrypted. But here's some good news, at least when it comes to physical world computer crimes, the number of stolen smartphones has declined in three major cities since phones started coming with kill switches. The number of stolen iPhones dropped by 25% in New York, by 40% in San Francisco, and 50% in London. And that's over the past year, since Apple added activation lock to iPhones. If your phone is stolen, you can prevent it. Sit from being reused, there by discouraging [INAUDIBLE] who want to resell it. That's your tech news update, there's always more at cnet.com. From are studios in New York I'm Bridgett Carrie. [MUSIC]