Samsung Galaxy SmartTag

Warning: *privacy not included with this product

Samsung Galaxy SmartTag

Samsung
Bluetooth

Review date: Nov. 8, 2021

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Mozilla says

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People voted: Super creepy

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.

Tips to protect yourself

Check the tips on how to know if someone is tracking you without your consent.
Use the Unknown Tag Search feature in Samsung SmartThings app, to be notified if you are being unwillingly tracked.

mobile Privacy warning Security A.I.

Can it snoop on me? information

Camera

Device: No

App: No

Microphone

Device: No

App: No

Tracks location

Device: Yes

App: Yes

What can be used to sign up?

What data does the company collect?

How does the company use this data?

Samsung may share your personal information with their subsidiaries, affiliates and service providers. This includes consumer data resellers and social networks. For business purposes, it may have shared your personal data and geolocation. It may have sold other personal information such as personal identifiers, products purchased, and browsing history, prior to October 1, 2021.

Samsung participates in various advertising networks and say, "These networks can track users’ online activities over time by collecting information through automated means, including through the use of browser cookies, web beacons, pixels, device identifiers, server logs, and other similar technologies. The networks use this information to show ads that may be tailored to individuals’ interests, to track users’ browsers or devices across multiple websites and apps, and to build a profile of users’ online browsing and app usage activities."

How can you control your data?

No retention details nor deletion rights are stated for users not covered by CCPA and GDPR in Samsung's privacy policy. CCPA deletion rights are mentioned and Samsung says they extend CCPA rights to all in the United States.

If you do not have a Samsung Account or an email on file, your deletion request will not be processed. Users with a Samsung Account can go here to delete your data.

What is the company’s known track record of protecting users’ data?

Average

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?

Yes

Bluetooth connection is still required to use the device.

User-friendly privacy information?

No

Links to privacy information

Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards? information

Yes

Encryption

Yes

Strong password

Not Applicable

Security updates

Yes

Manages vulnerabilities

Yes

Privacy policy

Yes

Does the product use AI? information

No


News

Samsung SmartThings Update Aims to Prevent Tracker-Based Stalking
MacRumors
Called "Unknown Tag Search," the anti-stalking feature aims to detect if someone has slipped a SmartTag into the user's bag or vehicle and is surreptitiously tracking their location.
Samsung cops to data leak after unsolicited '1/1' Find my Mobile push notification
The Register
Samsung has admitted that what it calls a "small number" of users could indeed read other people's personal data following last week's unexplained Find my Mobile notification.
I found my stolen Honda Civic using a Bluetooth tracker. It’s the latest controversial weapon against theft.
The Washington Post
AirTags and other Bluetooth trackers can find stolen cars, bikes and bags. But what happens when you find the person who took them?
5 Best AirTag Alter­na­tives for Android Users
Guiding Tech
Though you can read the tracker with an NFC-based Android phone, you can't track items with the AirTag on your Android phone. That's when AirTag alternatives for Android users come into the picture.

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