Samsung’s new SmartTV records the voices of its viewers and transmits them to a third party for storage. Is this the start of disturbing new trend in consumer electronics?
Samsung’s Internet-connected SmartTV has a disturbing new feature: It records everything around it and sends it back to a third party service that converts speech to text. That’s a feature that not only presents a disturbing violation of privacy, but also could be hijacked by other parties—even hackers.
“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,” the policy reads.
So be advised: If you’re too lazy to pick up the remote, you may want to keep your conversation with the TV as direct and non-incriminating as possible. Don’t talk about tax evasion, drug use. And definitely don’t try out your Violet Crawley impression.
As with all new surveillance technology, I’m not sure what’s more disturbing—the existence of the technology itself (from SmartTVs to the entire NSA spying apparatus) or the American public’s willingness to accept it with barely a second thought.
For more on how to resist electronic spying, please visit the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).