Samsung says voice function of its Web-connected TVs can collect users’ private conversations

Samsung says voice function of its Web-connected TVs can collect users’ private

South Korean electronics giant Samsung has become the latest tech firm to face opposition for the manner in which it collects users’ data; with the company’s Internet-connected TV sets apparently capable of transmitting user data to third parties.

With regard to the recent backlash over collection of user data, Samsung said in a recent e-mailed statement that users’ private conversations can be collected by the company’s Web-connected TVs when the voice-recognition function is activated.

According to Samsung, when a voice command is given to a Web-connected TV by a user, the requested content is searched by sending data to a server. The company also added that voice data consists of TV commands and search sentences only; and that the data is neither retained by Samsung nor is it sold to third parties for profit.

Along with acknowledging that the voice function of its Web-connected TVs can potentially collect user data, Samsung also said in the statement that the data-collecting voice-recognition function can be turned off by users whenever they want.

Samsung’s user agreements – the ‘click to agree’ screen - for its Web-connected TVs clearly mention the company’s data collection practices. A part of the SmartTV privacy policy of the company reads as follows: "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."