Samsung Smart TV privacy policy has got everyone worried

Samsung’s Smart TV privacy policy is taking a lot of criticism since the last couple of days ever since a reddit user found out a few sentences in the policy which essentially warn users not to talk about personal or sensitive information in front of their smart TV because it would pick that up. Comparisons are being drawn between this policy and George Orwell’s infamous dystopian novel, 1984, and people are starting to wonder out loud whether Orwell’s vision of the future is slowly coming to light. Here are the sentences in question from the privacy policy:

“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.”

Accusations are now flying on social media that Samsung is spying on its users and selling their data to third parties for profit. It merits mentioning here that there is no evidence of Samsung doing that just yet.

In a statement Samsung has said that it employs industry standard security safeguards and practices in its Smart TVs, including data encryption, just to keep customers’ personal information safe and prevent it from being collected without authorization. The company also points out an easy fix. You could just opt out of Voice Recognition or disconnect the TV completely from the wireless network.

Ever since the Snowden leaks of last year, most people have even given up the reasonable notion of privacy that they would have previously expected when connected to the internet. Its unlikely that this would trouble anyone who has already reached that conclusion but those who are finding this out for the first time might go and disconnect their smart devices from the internet.

Oh, and its not only Samsung that’s doing this with it Smart TVs, LG found itself in a similar situation back in 2013.


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