SmartThings Community

Boycott Samsung Connect App


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #21

I actually don’t doubt it at all, @prjct92eh2.

While indeed the number of SmartThings customers vs Samsung phone customer is like 1 in a billion, Samsung has a vision of the future that is far, far different than today.

Smart Homes and IoT will be everywhere (around the entire globe). Samsung wants to be THE company which consumers think of when it comes to connected things / smart homes.

And that includes reinforcing the “Samsung Brand” across the board: phones, TVs, appliances, etc., etc., etc…

They may not currently be Amazon, or Google, or Facebook, or Baidu (?); but there’s no harm in thinking …

BIG!!!


(Dan P Parker) #22

OK…I did. And…?


(Jimmy) #23

Fair enough for future plans, but his post made it seem like they wanted the current customers. So that’s what I was going by.


(Mike) #24

European Smart Homes Market Worth $15.28 Billion by 2020

Market research and this appeared in 2015, my guess is that figure is growing rapidly

From Zion market research:
Sarasota, FL, Jan. 03, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Zion Market Research has published a new report titled “Smart Home Market (Smart Kitchen, Security & Access Control, Lighting Control, Home Healthcare, HVAC Control and Others): Global Industry Perspective, Comprehensive Analysis, and Forecast, 2016-2022”. According to the report, the global smart home market was valued at around USD 24.10 billion in 2016 and is expected to reach approximately USD 53.45 billion by 2022, growing at a CAGR of slightly above 14.5% between 2017 and 2022.

Numbers = No Privacy


(Steven Shafer) #25

I appreciate your explanation. Based on your comments, it seems that the “Samsung Connect” app is requesting these permissions to deliver many kinds of functionality, most of which have nothing to do with SmartThings. Samsung and SmartThings could both have been much clearer on this, rather than providing me with non-responsive answers to my inquiries.

As I have a Google phone, my guess is that Samsung Connect isn’t an app that will do much for me, other than provide another way to work with SmartThings. I’ll stay with SmartThings as long as the “Classic app” is supported. If that goes away, and a third party developer doesn’t introduce an alternative, then I’ll have to decide whether to acquiesce to Samsung’s intrusive policies that are needed for features that I don’t want. However, at least you’ve given a reasonable explanation of why Samsung has requested these permissions, so I’m less suspicious of their intentions with my personal data.

Thank you.


#26

Apple needs permissions also; however, they don’t show the users what permissions they need. iPhone users tend to think that Apple doesn’t grant access to everything on the phone for the apps but they do. Android shows the permissions needed and allows the user to allow or block which could then stop the app from running. It’s not just the Samsung Connect app either.

A lot of apps that request permissions will explain that they have to request certain things even though they have no intention of accessing them (or so they claim).

In Android OS, with a lot of apps you can edit the allowed permissions. The apps will still work the same or slightly less usable depending on the app and what you’re denying. A simple example; deny location permission to maps won’t pinpoint where you are but still allow you to use the map otherwise. Go to Settings>apps>(app)> then scroll down to permissions. Turn off or on what you will allow it to access.

My S8 just recently received the Android 8 Oreo update. Samsung Connect is no longer on my phone and I did not delete it. Yes it was there previously.


#27

There’s a lot of confusion out there about Apple permissions, And they have occasionally changed things from one version of iOS to another, so sometimes you’ll see articles on the Internet which are out of date.

It’s always best to check the current agreements on the official site. If you are running the newest version of iOS, you will be individually asked for every permission for every app, and you can look up those permissions at any time.

In addition, you will be reminded from time to time about certain kinds of permissions, such as location services.

You can modify privacy settings in Settings > Privacy. You can select a type of data from this list to see which apps have asked for permission to use that data. An app won’t appear on the list until it asks permission to use your data. You can add or remove permission from any app that has asked for access to data. An app can use your data only if you have given it your permission.

Because Steve Jobs himself was mildly paranoid (he famously would lease a new car every 6 months so he didn’t have to put a license plate on it), Privacy protection is more baked into the Apple culture.

In particular, they store a lot more individually identifiable information on the individual device rather than on their own servers and much more of what is sent through their servers is anonymized, Not in the ordinary way that, say, Netflix tried anonymization. Just as one example, even a Siri request for what’s the weather in Chicago tomorrow will be anonymized before it goes to Apple, so that the next day no one will know that you were the one who asked that question. Even law enforcement can’t get to it.

Apple puts a lot of time and money into academic research on these issues, because they are not an ad-driven platform. ( but of course they charge much higher profit margins on the hardware to make up for that.)

Google, in contrast, including with Google assistant, stores all the information on their own servers and tags it with an identifier that can be tracked back to you. It probably won’t be, but it could be. The positive side of this is that because Google knows much more about you, it has much better personalization than Apple across multiple devices.

The most important thing to note, Regardless of the operating system that you use, is that individual apps can and do ask for permission to access a lot of your data. You need to read and understand the terms of service of each app that you install if you’re concerned about privacy.


(Jimmy) #28

This is the menu I looked at and the new SmartThings app is not listed under contacts. And to be honest, I usually accept all permissions.


#29

That doesn’t make it okay. It just makes you careless.


(Rich) #30

You must not have read it, as I clearly stated that this app needs permissions to contacts for other services it provides.

This app is not just for your Smartthings Hub!


#31

I’ve been investigating this issue on some other forums, including some privacy forums, and it appears that at least on Samsung phones the request for contacts, etc. is being done in order to support Bixby. They really want Bixby to get baked into everything Samsung and they want everyone to use it a lot.

Since Bixby won’t run under iOS, the Feature sets between the two versions are somewhat different. But Samsung is also starting to emphasize that the feature set on Samsung devices may be different than that on other android devices.

Anyway, as @Ex70s mentioned, and as SmartThings staff have also posted to this forum, the “SmartThings” Brand is no longer limited to just the hub-based system, or even to IOT. Samsung is expanding the use of the brand to all kinds of A.I. – enabled products, including, apparently, Bixby.

And the new “smartthings (Samsung connect)” Is intended to manage all of those, which is why it was called “OneApp” internally for a while. This isn’t just the old “Samsung connect” app which worked with appliances. And it isn’t just an update for the hub app. It’s going to be a lot more, and do a lot more, and consequently they feel it needs a lot more permissions. It’s not just about turning on a light bulb. They really want it to become the basis for their own competitor to Google assistant. So it needs to know a lot about you.

Samsung has become increasingly frustrated with the “trust problems“ associated with the generic android brand. They want to create a separate strong Samsung mobile brand that can beat Apple on personalization without giving up too much privacy. They want to be the android brand that gets it right.

That’s a very ambitious vision, and I’m not sure they’ll be able to accomplish it, but apparently that’s the direction they’re going.


#32

Everyone will eventually be migrated to a Samsung Account which then opens the door to all of these Services, not just SmartThings:

https://account.samsung.com


(Dan P Parker) #33

And how does that contradict anything I’ve said?

You must not have read what it was you were responding to. I didn’t say the app was just for the ST hub. I said that it explicitly tells you that it needs access to your Contacts (which it does) and that you must give it permission to do so (which you do) and that we have no reason at this point to conclude that Samsung is selling that information to anyone, which makes a comparison between this and what Facebook did an inapt one.

You seem to be terribly confused here.


(Rich) #34

I will not argue with you any longer… again, needs your contacts… that does not make it facebook by any means. When you have proof they are selling info… then come back to me.


(Steven Shafer) #36

If any Samsung or SmartThings staff are following this thread, I’ll share that based on the above information (thank you, in particular, WB70 and JDRoberts) it seems that Samsung intends to rebrand SmartThings as a wide variety of AI enabled services. Part of that evidently is to transition users from other voice activated assistants to Bixby.

That is exactly what I don’t want. My family and my house have learned to talk to Google Assistant. Google Assistant started out tied to Google products (e.g., Pixel phones) but is gradually becoming hardware agnostic. Siri will always be tied to Apple, and Alexa will be tied to Amazon, and Bixby seems like an “also ran” tied to Samsung. Google Assistant seems to me the least restrictive AI system for my family.

If Samsung’s long term goal is to gradually transition my family to Bixby through SmartThings, I’ll simply abandon SmartThings. There are lots of competitors! Frankly, what I would miss most isn’t the hub itself, but the SmartThings Community, which has been an incredible resource.


(Dan P Parker) #37

You shouldn’t be arguing at all. Instead, you should try actually reading what you’re responding to…which you’re obviously not bothering to do, as evidenced by both of these comments (among others):

Uh, yeah…that’s what I said…multiple times.

What I said…again, multiple times now…regarding the matter:

You’re actually agreeing with me.

Perhaps you should get someone to sit down with you and help you read posts before you respond, as you’re obviously having great difficulty understanding them.


(Rich) #38

You are correct in that I misread your post.
I certainly did not expect this to get personal… but there you go!
Have fun with that.
I have way more important things to worry about.
Thank you for clearing this up.


(Paul) #40

That’s weird. Very odd. Why wouldn’t the OS do that, rather than an app? Phones have been able to send contacts over Bluetooth to a car for many, many years, long before “smartphones”.


(Rich) #41

I don’t have an answer for that. The Samsung phone I bought came with what they called at the time “Samsung Connect”(now Samsung Smartthings) and this is what they use for it. My previous Samsung did exactly what you say, used the OS and not an app. Admittedly haven’t thought about it until now.


#42

Samsung Connect is similar but not the same as Samsung Smartthings. Samsung bought Smartthings and started putting their name on it. The Connect app is Samsung’s own version but it doesn’t have the same usefulness as ST.

The Connect app was preinstalled on my S8. When I got the latest Android update, the Connect app cant be found any more.