Samsung has warned people against discussing sensitive and private information in the vicinity of its new smart televisions – because it will be translated into text and stored in a central computer.
The policy states:
“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.
“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.”
Samsung insists that the data is encrypted to keep it safe, and points out that owners can disconnect their TV from wifi to keep their data secure.
In a statement it said:
“In all of our Smart TVs we employ industry-standard security safeguards and practices, including data encryption, to secure consumers’ personal information and prevent unauthorised collection or use.”
However, without an internet connection the voice recognition feature stops working entirely.
While lots of voice-recognition devices use an internet connection to better translate sounds into actions, the storing and sharing with third parties is a particular privacy concern for some Samsung users.
In the book, Orwell wrote:
“Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by, moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision which the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as heard.”