Samsung warns new ‘Smart TVs’ may pickup PRIVATE conversations of unsuspecting users

Samsung’s new “Smart TVs” might be a little too smart for comfort.

The televisions can be operated by voice commands, which might be convenient, but it also means the machines will pick up any oral communications in their range.

The South Korean company admits in its privacy policy that the smart televisions it produces can capture users’ conversations that have nothing to do with operating the sets and pass them along to an outside listener.

“Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party,” the privacy statement reads.

The little-noticed statement was first reported by the Daily Beast on Thursday.

Corynne McSherry, intellectual property director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told the website that it appears Samsung is using a third party to convert voice commands to text, but it’s still grounds for concern.

“If I were the customer, I might like to know who that third party was, and I’d definitely like to know whether my words were being transmitted in a secure form,” she said.

Samsung responded to the Daily Beast’s request for comment with the following statement.

“Samsung takes consumer privacy very seriously. In all of our Smart TVs we employ industry-standard security safeguards and practices, including data encryption, to secure consumers’ personal information and prevent unauthorized collection or use,” the statement read.

“Voice recognition, which allows the user to control the TV using voice commands, is a Samsung Smart TV feature, which can be activated or deactivated by the user. The TV owner can also disconnect the TV from the Wi-Fi network.”

Still the Twitterverse was not happy about the news with many comparing the policy to George Orwell’s “1984.”

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Carmine Sabia


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