Do you own a SmartTV? If so, there’s a teeny tiny bit of news that you may want to pay attention to. It turns out that Samsung’s SmartTV’s can listen and transmit everything you say and send it off to a third party without your permission. But you probably already knew that. After all, your local Best Buy makes sure to put that under the feature list right next to the picture-in-picture info. So no need to panic, right?

Wrong.

“Now remember, your TV is either in your living room or your bedroom, so this will never happen,” Glenn said as he read the story.

SmartTV’s that have voice recognition now have a privacy policy which reads:

You can control your SmartTV, and use many of its features, with voice commands. If you enable Voice Recognition, you can interact with your Smart TV using your voice. 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. In addition, Samsung may collect and your device may capture voice commands and associated texts so that we can provide you with Voice Recognition features and evaluate and improve the features. 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. (emphasis added)

Crazy.

“Why then would they ever feel the need to send anything to a third party? You are sending [personal information] to whom? And how did I authorize that?” Pat asked. I’m not saying anything in my house that I don’t want Samsung to know. I’m not doing anything in my bedroom that Samsung can’t know and send to a third party or fourth.”

As the guys noted on radio, this is just the latest example of the death of privacy.


Parker Higgins of the Electronic Freedom Foundation tweeted out comparisons between the SmartTV technology and George Orwell’s 1984.

“Welcome to today,” Glenn said. “We are already in that world. Privacy as we knew it in the past is no longer everybody feasible. How we conventionally think of privacy is dead.”

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Featured image courtesy of the AP