Debate Magazine

Your Smart TV Listens, Records & Transmits Your Conversations

By Eowyn @DrEowyn

If you have cable TV or webcam, you are already being watched.

Now add to that list your Smart TV listening, recording and trasmitting what you say.

Big Brother is watching

The latest television sets, Smart TV, have microphones for voice commands, so that viewers can change channel, turn on a DVD or browse the Internet by speaking at the screen or remote.

Think about it for a minute.

If your Smart TV can hear your voice command to change a channel, that means your TV can also hear EVERYTHING else you or other people are saying.

It gets worse, your Smart TV is also recording your conversations.

The technology works by converting words into text commands. If your voice request is simple, such as changing a channel, your Smart TV can deal with it on site. But for more complex requests, such as a request to find the details of a movie on Google, your request is transmitted online to a separate company.

THINK ABOUT IT FOR A MINUTE.

That means not only can your Smart TV hear everything you or others say, it also RECORDS and TRANSMITS your “more complex” conversations to a third party.

That’s why the small print of Samsung Smart TV’s privacy policy includes a warning that general conversations, not just your voice commands to the TV, are being recorded, and if you are concerned about that, you should avoid discussing “personal” or “sensitive” matters in your home: 

“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 prescient English novelist/journalist George Orwell (1903-1950) warned about the all-seeing Big Brother surveillance state in his 1949 novel, Nighteen Eighty-Four. We are living in Orwell’s dystopia.

Dan Hyde and Victoria Ward report for The Telegraph that the discovery of Samsung’s warning emerged on internet forums on Feb. 8, 2015, and quickly went viral.

Here’s a tweet comparing Samsung’s privacy policy with Orwell’s 1984:

Samsung Smart TV & Orwell's 1984

See also:

H/t FOTM’s maziel

~Éowyn


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