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Samsung smart TVs listen and record what you do

If you own a Samsung smart TV, you need to know that Big Brother is watching and listening to what you are doing!

Samsung’s privacy policy says its voice recognition function may be recording your personal conversations and transmitting them to a third party.

The privacy policy for Samsung’s smart TVs reads:

“To provide you the voice recognition feature, some voice commands may be transmitted (along with information about your device, including device identifiers) to a third-party service that converts speech to text or to the extent necessary to provide the voice recognition features to you”.

The policy acknowledges the smart TV may also record your personal conversations and transmit them to third parties, but adds “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”.

The privacy policy says your spoken words won’t be collected, but that Samsung “may still collect associated texts and other usage data so that we can evaluate the performance of the feature and improve it”.

Much like Siri on your iPhone, the voice recognition function on the Samsung smart TV needs to send the voice data to a third party over Wi-Fi to decipher the command before sending the instructions back to the TV.

Samsung said in the statement that users can easily recognise if the voice recognition feature is activated because a microphone icon appears on the screen”. Voice recognition can also be turned off in the “settings” menu.

In 2013, LG was embroiled in controversy after it was revealed its smart TVs were sending information about the programs users were watching, and even the information on their USB sticks, back to its servers.

“Data encryption” is a general term and CHOICE thinks that Samsung needs to be more specific about the type and strength of data encryption it uses if it wants consumers to have confidence in their products and policies.


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