Congress says they have serious concerns about Samsung’s internet-connected SmartTV listening to peoples conversations.
Samsung said the TV has a voice-command feature that — on your command — can change channels.
The Problem? The TV allegedly records everything a person says if the TV can hear you.
“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.”
Experts said if entire conversations would in fact be transmitted to a third party and that conversation contains incriminating material; then your TV could potentially send you to jail.
Experts also said that in order for the voice-command feature to work, it must be active and ready to respond; therefore, the feature would constantly be recording.
Analysts said people should be concerned because if a conversation in the privacy of your living room about the president, drugs, or other topic is recorded, it could quickly be taken out of context by the person on the other end.
There are also concerns that a TV with a camera and or microphone could possibly record intimate situations between partners.
Ocala Post reached out to Samsung and they released the following statement via e-mail:
“Samsung takes consumer privacy very seriously. In all of our Smart TVs we employ industry-standard security safeguards and practices, including data encryption, to secure consumers’ personal information and prevent unauthorized collection or use.”
Ocala Post asked if Samsung stores or transmits personal conversations and Samsung replied:
“Samsung does not retain voice data or sell it to third parties. If a consumer consents and uses the voice recognition feature, voice data is provided to a third party during a requested voice command search. At that time, the voice data is sent to a server, which searches for the requested content then returns the desired content to the TV.”
Experts said this is the chance people take when they are too lazy to use a remote. “We are a generation of lazy Americans,” one analyst said.
Samsung says the feature can be deactivated by the user, but doing so will disable all voice-command functions.
However, some worry that the application might have security vulnerabilities and could allow outsiders into your living room.
Samsung would not release the name of the third party company.