Not So Private, Samsung’s Smart TV Eaves Dropping ‘Glitch’

Muchaneta Kapfunde | @FashNerdEditor

I never knew I would say this, but it seems that our Samsung Smart TV might just be too smart for our own good.

After being strong armed, Samsung has finally confirmed that their ‘Smart TV’ has the ability to eaves drop on conversations, and that they have had to warn their customers to not discuss personal information near their TV set.

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The new sophisticated technology was designed to enable you to easily operate your TV without having to push a button. The feature allows you to easily control functions such as turning your TV on/off, changing channels, accessing apps and navigating the web. It all sounds quite wonderful until you read the small print.

The policy, outed by the Daily Beast, points out, “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.”

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It sounds all quite science fiction, the idea of your Smart TV, a valued member of the ‘family’, having the power to share your sensitive data. On the ‘glitch’, the tech brand has disclosed that the voice activation feature on its smart TV has the capability to capture all nearby conversations that it will then share with Samsung and third-party services.

With all eyes now on the small print, that no one ever reads, Samsung released a new statement, “If a consumer consents and uses the voice recognition feature, voice data is provided to a third-party during a requested voice command search”.

LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 06: Samsung Electronics Vice President Nandra Ramachandran is silhouetted against a video presentation as he speaks during a press event at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center for the 2014 International CES on January 6, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. CES, the world's largest annual consumer technology trade show, runs from January 7-10 and is expected to feature 3,200 exhibitors showing off their latest products and services to about 150,000 attendees. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Samsung Electronics Vice President Nandra Ramachandran | Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Although Samsung has confirmed that they do not retain or sell the voice data, it does look like privacy was an afterthought for the brand.  Which is why it is imperative that when technology is involved that security and privacy should always take priority. There is no point in making our lives easier if it means that we sacrifice our right to privacy. Lets not put more fuel onto the already burning fire of those already suspicious of technology and fear the kind of control that it can have over us.

On a positive note, the good news is that you can turn off voice recognition by simply pressing the menu button on the remote control of smart TV that then gives you access to the option to cancel the voice recognition function. If it all sounds confusing then we have made it easier for you below.

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