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Be careful what you say around your Samsung Smart TV

Samsung is warning owners of its so-called Smart TVs not to talk in front of the TVs, because they are listening to what you say.The warning applies to TV viewers who control their Samsung Smart

India TV Business Desk [ Updated: February 10, 2015 15:12 IST ]
be careful what you say around your samsung smart tv
be careful what you say around your samsung smart tv

Samsung is warning owners of its so-called Smart TVs not to talk in front of the TVs, because they are listening to what you say.

The warning applies to TV viewers who control their Samsung Smart TV using its voice activation feature.

When the feature is active, such TV sets "listen" to what is said and may share what they hear with Samsung or third parties, it said.

This means voice commands like "change the channel" are transmitted to a third-party service that converts the speech to text and then sends the command to the television.

Anxiety that routine talks could be picked up by the televisions was triggered by the South Korean tech giant's own Smart TV privacy policy, that warned of the potential scope of the sets' voice recognition software.

"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 the third party," the policy said.

Those third parties, according to Samsung's policies, perform tasks like converting speech to text, while data collection helps the company improve its services, it said.

It's not the first time Smart TVs have been called out for potential "Big Brother" style invasions of privacy.

In 2013, another South Korean electronics conglomerate LG acknowledged that its smart TVs were collecting data about owners' viewing habits without their permission.

The company said it had fixed the problem with an update.

In a statement on Tuesday, Samsung stressed that it took privacy issues "very seriously" and employed numerous safeguards to prevent the unauthorised the use of consumer data.

The statement noted that the voice recognition feature on its Smart TVs was an option - and could simply be switched off.

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