While those who purchased a Samsung SmartTV this Black Friday thought they were picking up the ultimate Christmas gift for their loved one, they were actually purchasing a surveillance device.
The devices come equipped with voice recognition that allows you to say a command at your TV which the TV follows. Since the TV is constantly listening for commands it picks up and records everything you say. Some people are likening Samsung’s policy to something out of George Orwell’s 1984.
According to CNN, Samsung takes the words you say and sends them to a third-party company to be translated to text. Samsung will also use the data it collects for research and to improve their products.
“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 through your use of Voice Recognition.”
A microphone will appear on the screen when the voice recognition feature is on. There is an option to opt out of the voice command option.
However, your voice commands will still be collected by the SmartTV which has pre-programmed commands that it recognizes whether you opt out or not. It does this to analyze how much you use certain commands. There is an option to prevent data collection all together.
“If you do not enable Voice Recognition, you will not be able to use interactive voice recognition features, although you may be able to control your TV using certain predefined voice commands. You may disable Voice Recognition data collection at any time by visiting the ‘settings’ menu. However, this may prevent you from using some of the Voice Recognition features.”
But Samsung says that they are not spying on their customers nor or they selling their data.
“Samsung does not retain voice data or sell it to third parties,” Samsung said in a statement. “If a consumer consents and uses the voice recognition feature … the voice data is sent to a server, which searches for the requested content then returns the desired content to the TV.”
They say there is nothing to fear or be paranoid about, but you can watch the video below and decide for yourself.
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