Samsung ‘Smart TV’ Records “Personal” Conversations & Sends Them to Third Parties

Samsung Television - Photo by Crisco 1492

Samsung’s new global privacy policy for its line of Smart TVs states that a user’s personal conversations will be recorded by the device’s microphone and transmitted to third parties.

A 46-page privacy policy which is now included in all newly purchased Samsung Smart TVs states that voice recognition technology “may capture voice commands and associated texts” in order to “improve the features” of the system.

The policy, a summary of which is also posted online, ominously advises users to, “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.”

Writing about the privacy policy for Salon.com, Michael Price, counsel in the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, said he was now “terrified” of his new TV, noting that voice recognition is just one feature that could be used to spy on users. The television also logs website visits, has a built-in camera for facial recognition and uses tracking cookies to detect “when you have viewed particular content or a particular email message.”

“I do not doubt that this data is important to providing customized content and convenience, but it is also incredibly personal, constitutionally protected information that should not be for sale to advertisers and should require a warrant for law enforcement to access,” writes Price, adding that current privacy laws offer little protection against “third party” data.

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1 thought on “Samsung ‘Smart TV’ Records “Personal” Conversations & Sends Them to Third Parties”

  1. I think the marketplace will settle whether ot not this SmartTV will be in people’s homes. (It won’t be in my home . . .)
    How many times are you inappropriately dressed in your own home? Especially in the middle of the night when you get up for something.
    Might consider that this TV also is capable of doing movies of you in your own home without your permission. It is internet taken to a nightmare.
    Our techs have had these kind of things going on for years. A genius level data base engineer friend of mine, could use a telephone sonar coupled with a computer to actually see images of people over the telephone. That was in 1993.
    He actually told us what we were wearing while he was on the phone across town. That is how sophisticated sound to image tech has gotten.
    Now they are building TVs that have cameras built in and microphones built in so the whole world can see you in your own living room.
    Wonder if it works with the tv shut down for the night?
    Certain laptops have had this capability as well.

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