Warning: *privacy not included with this product
Samsung Galaxy SmartTag
The Galaxy SmartTag is a Bluetooth tracker that also lets you control some of your smart home devices with the click of a button. Cool. Pop this little puppy on your keychain and find your lost keys from up to 120 meters away. You can push a button on your phone to make the SmartTag play a sound to lead you right to that very important thing you lost. Or tap into the Galaxy Find Network help you find what you've lost if you're out of Bluetooth range. Before you buy though, know the SmartTags are only compatible with Samsung Galaxy phones and tablets. That's a little limiting.
What could happen if something goes wrong?
Samsung's Galaxy SmartTags don't have the huge community network of devices helping track them that Apple's Airtags and Tile's trackers do. They do have a network though, so users should be aware of that. Samsung has taken some steps to help scan if an unknown SmartTag is nearby and tracking you, which is good. Hopefully it is enough.
Not gonna lie, it sure seems Samsung likes to collect a lot of data on users, share (and possibly sell) that data around lots of places, and make it hard for you to figure out how to opt-out of that data sharing.
Your dogged privacy researcher spent quite a lot of time on Samsung’s website trying to understand how to opt-out under their “Do Not Sell” option as part of California’s privacy law called CCPA. It was clunky and complicated and she was never quite clear if she succeeded or not. Samsung does extend the rights that protect users under CCPA to all of the United States, which is good. And Samsung users in Europe are protected by their privacy protection law, GDPR, to a degree.
What could go wrong? Well, Samsung likes to show ads tailored to you through various ad networks, and say they do a lot of tracking of your online activities to do so. These little tags track the location of things you like tracked. They could help Samsung know you like to go bowling a lot, target you with ads for those ugly bowling shoes, you buy 8 pairs because, hey, why not, and then what are you going to do with 8 pairs of bowling shoes? OK, this is probably not likely, but also not impossible in our digital ad economy.
What can be used to sign up?
What data does the company collect?
Name, email, phone number, date of birth, gender, location
How does the company use this data?
How can you control your data?
What is the company’s known track record of protecting users’ data?
In February, 2020, Samsung had a data breach on it UK customer account pages, affecting less than 150 people.
Can this product be used offline?
Bluetooth connection is still required to use the device.
User-friendly privacy information?
Links to privacy information
Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards?
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