U.S.-based tech media outlets like The Daily Beast, Techcrunch, and Gizmodo are all buzzing about Samsung TVs, but not in the good way. This time they are talking about “spying,” “creepy eavesdropping,” and “1984.”
“If you enable Voice Recognition, you can interact with your Smart TV using your voice. To provide you the Voice Recognition feature, some voice commands may be transmitted (along with information about your device, including device identifiers) to a third-party service that converts speech to text or to the extent necessary to provide the Voice Recognition features to you. In addition, Samsung may collect and your device may capture voice commands and associated texts so that we can provide you with Voice Recognition features and evaluate and improve 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.”
The Daily Beast brought up the possibility that the policy is just legal wiggle-room for the company, but the subsequent freak-out by the rest of the Internet has not been positive.
Techcrunch called Samsung's new SmartTV policy "creepy" while also speaking about the Amazon Echo, another device that listens to spoken commands. The article congratulated Samsung for its honesty by saying, “Creepy, tech-fueled privacy intrusions are rarely detailed as clearly as that. So full marks to Samsung for clarity.”
The popularity of Samsung SmartTVs will most likely take a hit unless there is a change in policy.