Samsung’s smart TVs are listening to you

Samsung customers have been warned not to divulge "personal" information while watching television on one of their smart TV sets. Picture: Getty

Samsung customers have been warned not to divulge "personal" information while watching television on one of their smart TV sets. Picture: Getty

4
Have your say

BE careful what you talk about when sitting around in front of the box – your television may be too smart for its own good.

A leading consumer electronics manufacturer has warned its customers to avoid discussing “personal” and “sensitive” information in front of smart TV sets.

Samsung, one the world’s biggest producers of smart TVs, has said third parties would be able to access the data if viewers use the voice activation feature in their home.

Privacy campaigners drew parallels with the telescreens which were used to spy on citizens in George Orwell’s novel 1984, and said the company had questions to answer to millions of customers affected.

The warning came to light in the online news magazine the Daily Beast, which published an excerpt of Samsung’s privacy policy for the devices, which are connected to the internet.

The document details how the smart TVs will listen to people in the same room in order to try and identify voice commands being issued. It states: “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.

“If your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party.”

Samsung is the dominant player in the smart TV business with recent statistics showing it has a 26.4 per cent market share of an industry that has sold around 150 million devices.

Back to the top of the page