View Full Version : Don't discuss personal information in front of smart TVs!!!

Randy B. Singer
02-16-2017, 09:32 PM
Samsung warns customers not to discuss personal information in front of smart TVs
By Meghan De Maria
Feb 9 2017

Samsung has confirmed that its "smart TV" sets are listening to customers' every word, and the company is warning customers not to speak about personal information while near the TV sets.
The company revealed that the voice activation feature on its smart TVs will capture all nearby conversations. The TV sets can share the information, including sensitive data, with Samsung as well as third-party services.
The news comes after Shane Harris at The Daily Beast pointed out a troubling line in Samsung's privacy policy: "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."
Samsung has now issued a new statement clarifying how the voice activation feature works. "If a consumer consents and uses the voice recognition feature, voice data is provided to a third party during a requested voice command search," Samsung said in a statement. "At that time, the voice data is sent to a server, which searches for the requested content then returns the desired content to the TV."
The company added that it does not retain or sell the voice data, but it didn't name the third party that translates users' speech.
Update, Feb. 10: Samsung has updated its policy and named the third party in question, Nuance Communications, Inc.
Meghan DeMaria

02-16-2017, 10:25 PM
Ohhh dear Randy!

I hope they do not have built in CCTV also? This confirms I will never own a Samsung anything!

02-16-2017, 10:35 PM
It appears that George Orwell was not only writing about "1984" but also about "2017". Not surprising at all that "Big Brother" is watching over us.

02-16-2017, 10:37 PM
My wife sent me an article about something similar recently. I might have mentioned it on one of the Sunday chats. I think it would be smarter if they used some kind of trigger phrase I choose. i'd also like to know who the third party is so I can make my own assessment of their trustworthiness.

Anyone else offended / amazed that their solution is to tell customers not to discuss sensitive data in range of the set?

Randy B. Singer
02-17-2017, 12:46 AM
It gets worse.

Vizio is also doing some bad stuff, privacy-wise.


Oh, and Slydude, it said right in my original post that the third party collecting the information is Nuance. I imagine that it's not a coincidence that, of all the legitimate software companies that I know of, Nuance is by far the slimiest.

02-17-2017, 01:30 AM
Nuance has an app for IOS devices that seems to behave in a similar way, or at least the potential is there. I use their Dictate program for the Mac but I don't think it sends data to a server.