Careful! Your Samsung Smart TV is listening and sharing what you say

telescreen samsungIf you own a voice activated smart TV from Samsung, there’s a good chance it’s recorded conversations you’ve had in the same room, and these may have been shared with third parties – whether the set was turned on or not.

If you thought that televisions that know whether or not you are watching them was spooky, then Samsung’s recent warning about discussing personal information in front of their smart television set might give you Orwellian-based nightmares.

Samsung has come out with this warning to TV viewers who control their Samsung Smart TV using its voice activation feature.

This has come to light after a single line in Sammy’s TV privacy policy was discovered by the Daily Beast.

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,”

Yup. Your TV is listening to you just like the Telescreens in the novel ‘1984’.

Samsung’s explanation for the constant audio capture is that it’s waiting for someone to give it a command – but why store it and share it?

Fair enough. The bit Samsung should be clarifying and apologising about, however, is the fact it is transmitting the information to a third party (presumably, the company that provides the voice recognition software). Is the next step to show adverts for biscuits and cakes when you mention putting the kettle on? Or are they snooping for something more juicy?

Samsung has given this slice of advice though:

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,”

Errrrm… yeah, you can buy one of our Smart TVs and use it securely as long as you don’t use any of the smart features then?

Don’t worry though. All of your recorded conversations are encrypted, so at least only the people Samsung wants to share them with can listen in.

What do you think about this? If you have a Samsung TV, chances are, they already know what you think 😉