Your Smart TVs Might be Recording and Sharing your Private Conversations

That Smart TV you love so much and paid such a hefty amount for? Well, there’s a big chance it is recording and sharing your conversations with third parties. This is especially so if your Smart TV is a Samsung Smart TV.

Technology continues to evolve at an astonishing arte, and we continue to embrace technologies whose mode of operation we have no clue about whatsoever. Let’s talk about your big nice Smart TV. The TV is so intelligent, it accepts voice commands. Yeah, you no longer have to press those cumbersome remote buttons. You no longer have to worry about the hygiene of touching the remote because you can now control your TV via voice. How awesome and cool is that?

Well, pretty awesome. Except that when you are busy feeding voice commands into your TV, it is recording the commands and any other conversations in the room and sending them to a third party who is then supposed to decipher them and instruct the TV to do what you wanted it to.

To understand this further, imagine you need to change channels severally. Now, instead of keeping on activating and deactivating voice control, you activate it once and keep issuing instructions at wish. In between you issuing instructions, the TV does not stop recording your conversations. This means that the TV is collecting information on you and sending it out to a third party.

This was recently discovered to be the case in Samsung’s Smart TVs. Being the good company that they are, Samsung made sure to point out in the fine print that their devices might record conversation and send them to third parties, ostensibly to alert you that your TV might be a wee bit too intrusive. The exact words in the terms and conditions are “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.”

Isn’t that shocking? But how many of us read through the lengthy fine print. We just sign on the dotted line of click on ‘I agree’ and get on with our lives. We pretty much leave ourselves out there for companies to manipulate us and make it easy for them to collect data on our most private of details for market research, which is a nice way of saying make money off our habits.

The internet of things will indeed make life easy, and this Samsung Smart TV is but an example of how devices will be able to capture and transmit our private lives. While the convenience will be enjoyable, the price we might pay might be too high. Brutally so. What would happen if conversation from your living room on financial matters, for example, fell into the hands of a cyber criminal?

While Samsung has taken the trouble to notify users-albeit in the vaguest of languages- other Smart TV manufacturers like LG and Philips simply made no reference to the voice capturing.

The technology advancement is good, but the cost might be a little more expensive than we thought.

Top/Featured Image: By The Conmunity – Pop Culture Geek from Los Angeles, CA, USA (CES 2012 – Samsung Smart TV) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

COMMENTS

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  • Michal Nemcok 2 years

    This is pretty crazy. 1984 is here.

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