Warning over Samsung TV which listens in on users


Staff member
13 September 2012
Well at least they are being honest about it but i'd be wary of using one. Nothing that connects to the internet is really secure in my opinion.

EDIT: It seems you have to press a button before you speak so that's not bad. If it monitored your conversations all the time i'd be worried which mobile phones have done for years.

From InfoWars:

Infowars first reported on the issue three months ago in November, but the story went viral over the weekend after being picked up by numerous technology websites.

The controversy stems from Samsung’s global privacy policy, which 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.”

After an Electronic Frontier Foundation activist made a chilling comparison between the Smart TVs and telescreens in George Orwell’s dystopian classic 1984, Samsung was forced to respond, telling the Guardian that users could opt out of the voice recognition feature.

However, the company did admit that if consumers gave permission for the voice recognition feature to be activated, their words would be, “sent to a server, which searches for the requested content then returns the desired content to the TV.”

Source: http://www.infowars.com/samsung-admits-private-conversations-being-sent-to-internet-server/

From SKY News:

Samsung has warned people against discussing sensitive and private information in the vicinity of its new smart televisions - because it will be translated into text and stored in a central computer.

The new privacy policy for the voice-activated television allows the company and its partners to listen in on everything that people say.

The policy states: "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.

"While Samsung will not collect your spoken word, Samsung may still collect associated texts and other usage data so that we can evaluate the performance of the feature and improve it."

Samsung insists that the data is encrypted to keep it safe, and points out that owners can disconnect their TV from wifi to keep their data secure.

In a statement it said: "In all of our Smart TVs we employ industry-standard security safeguards and practices, including data encryption, to secure consumers' personal information and prevent unauthorised collection or use."

However, without an internet connection the voice recognition feature stops working entirely.

While lots of voice-recognition devices use an internet connection to better translate sounds into actions, the storing and sharing with third parties is a particular privacy concern for some Samsung users.

The privacy policy was first highlighted by a Reddit user, and many of the comments compared the situation to the telescreens described in George Orwell novel 1984.

In the book, Orwell wrote: "Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by, moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision which the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as heard."

Source: http://news.sky.com/story/1424037/warning-over-tv-which-listens-in-on-users
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I sell these tvs and trust me if the voice recognition worked even half as good as these articles suggest then they wouldnt struggle to change the channel or volume on command. My colleagues have been embarassed too many times by the gimmicky voice recognition to even bother talking it up to customers anymore.

If you were worried in anyway just dont connect your TV to the internet via Wifi, just use it as a monitor and terrestrial TV device. You can get better SmartTV through tablets anyway.


yeah theres one at work and its well crap have to disable that for meetings or it keeps wanting to change source all the bloody time