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Samsung responds to eavesdropping Smart TVs: No big brother tactics here

Chris Martin | Feb. 11, 2015
Firm tries to calm 'big brother fears'

After news that Samsung Smart TVs might be listening in to the private conversations of users, the firm has responded playing the situation down. 

Yesterday it emerged that Samsung's Smart TVs might be recording things users say in the privacy of their own home and sending it to third parties. The situation was likened to 1984's big brother but Samsung has explained the ins and outs.

"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," Samsung's policy said.

Samsung has said in a statement that it takes privacy issues "very seriously" and employs numerous safeguards to prevent the unauthorised the use of consumer data.

It's Smart TVs with voice recognition as a feature - you can change channel with speech, for example - must send the data to a third party to be converted to text and sent to the TV. It's similar to Apple's Siri needing to connect to a server to function properly.

The firm also pointed out that the voice recognition software is optional and can be switched off in the settings. Worried users can also disconnect the TV from the wireless network.

"Should consumers enable the voice recognition capability, the voice data consists of TV commands, or search sentences, only," added Samsung.

Privacy is an increasing worry for consumers as more and more devices connect to the internet and contain hardware such as cameras and microphones.


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