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PJ Media encourages you to read our updated PRIVACY POLICY and COOKIE POLICY.
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Your Samsung TV Is Snooping on You

Your Samsung smart TV is capturing your conversations.

Samsung's privacy policy for an internet-connected smart tv with voice commands reads, "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."

This could be an attempt to train your smart tv to use voice commands. “It looks like they are using a third-party service to convert speech to text, so that’s most of what is being disclosed here,” said Corynne McSherry, the intellectual property director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

But, said McSherry, “If I were the customer, I might like to know who that third party was, and I’d definitely like to know whether my words were being transmitted in a secure form.” If the transmission is not encrypted, a SmartHacker could conceivably turn your TV into an eavesdropping device.

Don't forget the government has a backdoor into all this technology, so maybe Samsung doesn't care -- but I'll bet Uncle Sam would flip a switch if they thought you were one of those dangerous tea party types.

Techdirt supplies a nice comparison:

Compare Samsung's wording...

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.

with Orwell's:

The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it, moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision which the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as heard. There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment

You had to live--did live, from habit that became instinct--in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.sung

Samsung's not the only one; Techdirt also points a finger at LG.

I further understand and agree that LGE may share Voice Information with third parties, including providers of voice analytics.

I understand and agree that Voice Information may be transferred to, and used by, third party service providers on LGE's behalf in various countries around the world (including Korea), some of which may not offer the same level of data protection, for the purposes set out in the Privacy Policy.

Perhaps it's a good idea to skip a smart tv with voice recognition entirely.