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Friday, February 17, 2017

Samsung confirms ‘smart TV’ listens to customers, warns on privacy

Samsung Electronic has confirmed that its 'smart TV' sets are listening to customers' every word, and the company has warned customers not to speak about personal information while near the TV sets, reports ITRealms.

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.

Samsung, however, insisted that customers about discussing personal information in front of their smart television set should desist.

ITRealms gathered that the warning applies to TV viewers who control their Samsung Smart TV using its voice activation feature.


"When the feature is active, such TV sets "listen" to what is said and may share what they hear with Samsung or third parties," official of Samsung confirmed, revealing that the third party in question is Nuance Communications Inc.

*Correspondent with additional reports from BBC.com
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