By Terry Cutler
It is unlikely that Samsung has a team of “listeners” recording your every word or idle chatter as you watch your favourite shows, because these TVs do not live up to the Smart billing – they are not really so smart, but as we are digitally inclined we might expect such news, or revelations when it comes to these Smart TVs or other devices.
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.
Samsung changed that paragraph in response and no longer warns you outright but smothers it over with legal ease
To provide you the Voice Recognition feature, some interactive voice commands may be transmitted (along with information about your device, including device identifiers) to a third-party service provider (currently, Nuance Communications, Inc.) that converts your interactive voice commands to text and to the extent necessary to provide the Voice Recognition features to you.
While there is a microphone built into every set, and in your remote, Samsung claims it is only used to respond to a specific set of predefined commands for things like changing the channel or muting the volume, and nothing it hears is sent to any server.
Xbox 360 and Xbox One Kinect service, LG’s Smart TVs, Amazon’s Echo speaker, or Microsoft’s Cortana — mostly for connecting to the Internet, and maybe – and that’s a big maybe – they could spy in us, but it’s unlikely.
If this concerns you, just go to settings and turn off voice recognition.
- Voice activated
- Part of this new trend of always connected. Internet of Things
- Always on, always listening. Spying.
- As per Samsung’s own policy, these Smart TVs are internet connected and are designed to be in passive data collection mode. This presents a security risk.
- Hackers could take over control of such devices (as with the baby monitors) and collect information you don’t want anyone else to know, i.e. credit card numbers, phone numbers, addresses, etc
- Could even become possible for a hacker to determine what times of the day your tv is on and off, giving him insight into your schedule
- If concerned, always turn off voice recognition
- 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
- Devices currently known for being internet connected: Samsung smart tv, Xbox 360 and Xbox One Kinect service, LG’s Smart TVs, Amazon’s Echo speaker, or Microsoft’s Cortana — mostly for connecting to the Internet.
I’m a government cleared cybersecurity expert (a Certified Ethical Hacker), and the Vice-President of Cyber at SIRCO, an investigations and protections firm in Montréal, Canada.
I’m also a frequent contributor to National & Global media reportage about cyber-crime, spying, security failures, internet scams, and the real social network dangers that families and individuals face every day.