Samsung tries to quell talk of 'Big Brother' television sets

It has not been a great weekend for Samsung. This was after users saw that the privacy policy on their TVs' terms and conditions read almost exactly the same as words from George Orwell's novel 1984 about a dystopian future where actions of all citizens were monitored ruthlessly by the Government.

This 'Big Brother' style eavesdropping by television sets which record everything that's said in front of the set has rights activists scream blue murder.

To be fair, I wouldn't want 'third party' to be privy to my discussions with my other half leave alone record them and transmit them elsewhere! Even though Samsung are at pains to point out that none of the voice recordings are actually stored for future references but we are all currently slightly bruised by ginormous corporations promising us freedon and complete privacy...

But the main question is, how did Samsung get into such a pickle? Well, by manufacturing a television set that is voice activated and to make it 'smarter', works by listening to all conversations taking place near it, be it sweet nothings, raging arguments or just discussions about what you are watching.

And even though you can turn off the listening aspect of the television, the notion is still quite alarming.

Samsung's policy reads: “You can control your SmartTV, and use many of its features, with voice commands. If you enable Voice Recognition, you can interact with your Smart TV using your voice. To provide you the Voice Recognition feature, some voice commands may be transmitted (along with information about your device, including device identifiers) to a third-party service that converts speech to text or to the extent necessary to provide the Voice Recognition features to you. In addition, 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.”

To be fair, Samsung are not the first manufacturers to get in trouble over consumer data collection LG got their knuckles rapped a few years back for something very similar.

But Samsung could do without the negative publicity during these times of falling sales and especially in the run up to Mobile World Congress and their flagship launch. 

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