New smart televisions listening in? - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV


New smart televisions listening in?

(PHOTO: FOX19/ Ben Katko) (PHOTO: FOX19/ Ben Katko)
FOX19 -

What if that TV you have in your living room could hear your every word?

That's what some are questioning about Samsung's Smart TV.

You come home from a long day at the office and sit down to watch your favorite television show and unwind, maybe even strike up a conversation with your significant other about the long day you had.

Your significant other may not be the only one listening if you have a Smart TV in the room.

"I don't think it's very cool.  I don't think they should be doing that,” said one man in an interview with FOX19 NOW.

The Samsung Smart TV is built with a voice recognition feature that some see as invasive.

"I want my home to be private.  I don't want people selling my information,” one woman told FOX19 NOW.

The movies you watch, the conversations you have, the shows you like and your TV web browser history may be captured, that according to reports.

"I'd just suggest that people move slow on these kind of things, and think about the consequences of having all this information put out there about themselves,” said Dave Hatter, FOX19 NOW's tech expert.

Reports say the TV can record and send your conversations and information to third parties. 

In Samsung's privacy policy about the TV they say:

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.”

"I don't think I would want them to sell what I say in my home, in my private household, to other people.  That's my own private business,” one woman told FOX19 NOW.

Samsung said there are ways to disable the feature.  They continue in their privacy policy by saying the following:

If you do not enable Voice Recognition, you will not be able to use interactive voice recognition features, although you may be able to control your TV using certain predefined voice commands. While Samsung will not collect your spoken word, Samsung may still collect associated texts and other usage data so that we can evaluate the performance of the feature and improve it."

You may disable Voice Recognition data collection at any time by visiting the “settings” menu. However, this may prevent you from using all of the Voice Recognition features.”

"Is a hacker going to break into your TV to listen to you?  Probably not.  But, just understand that it's possible.  The only real way really to defeat this feature, outside of not using the TV, is to not connect it to the internet,” Hatter said.

To view the entire privacy policy about the Smart TV, click here.

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