What’s on TV? Find Out From the Powerline

Recently, Miro Enev traveled to CCS 2011 to present his work with Sidhant Gupta on uncovering the depth of information leakage available on the modern powerline. The paper suggests that it is possible to tell what someone is watching on a TV by collecting a short period of unintentionally generated electromagnetic interference (EMI) from any wall socket in a home (not just the socket connected to the TV). This research was based on in-lab and in-home experiments with 8 TVs ranging in size, technology, and manufacturer, and a dataset of 20 movies plus over-the-air broadcasts. Miro and Sidhant also demonstrated the ability to train a neural network to predict the EMI of a television without need for physical access to the device. Full details in the paper. UW faculty members Shwetak Patel and Tadayoshi Kohno were also involved.