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Is Your Samsung Smart TV Really Spying On You? Hush

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Samsung has responded to the claims made by privacy-concerned individuals who suspect that its top-range Smart TVs are eavesdropping on viewers right inside their homes.

The anxiety caused by the capability of the TVs to collect and share intimate conversations has somehow been based on the South Korean company's very own Smart TV privacy policy. The latter has purportedly warned users of the possible scope of the unit's voice recognition software.

Just a few paragraphs from the above-mentioned privacy policy are enough to make consumers feel a bit disturbed. According to the document, the protocols of Samsung TVs include capturing voice commands with accompanying texts, which would allow the company to provide the user with Voice Recognition features. Doing so could lead to further evaluation and improvement of 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," stated Samsung in the document.

From this statement, a number of questions have been formulated by consumers and privacy groups. These include questions on the identity of the third party and the type of information that is transmitted. Apart from the conversations, the company said that information such as the shows that are watched, movies that are purchased and the TV's web browser history are also gathered.

A spokesperson for the company said that Samsung "takes consumer privacy very seriously" and "does not retain voice data, or sell it to third parties." The person added that it's only when the consumer has agreed to use the voice recognition feature that voice data is delivered to a third party when performing a voice command search.

The voice command technology is becoming more and more an integral component in most of today's newer products. One can find it almost anywhere, from smartphones and wearables to cars and home electronics system. While this technology can power devices, it has also led to the query on just how much privacy are consumers willing to give up in exchange for increased comfort and connectivity.

Samsung added that the voice recognition feature of Smart TVs is an option and that consumers can simply switch it off.

"Should consumers enable the voice recognition capability, the voice data consists of TV commands, or search sentences, only," said Samsung.

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