samsung-smart-tv-2014Smart TVs are great as they allow you to do more with your TV than just staring at it, but unfortunately it seems that some smart TVs have some hi-tech features that are potentially troubling, especially if you value your privacy. Recently Samsung’s own Smart TV privacy policy has been raising some eyebrows due to the way it has been worded.

According to Samsung’s Smart TV privacy policy, it reads, “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.”

Samsung has since received a lot of flack over that particular policy, with some customers claiming that Samsung plans on using their information and selling it to third parties for profit, although in Samsung’s defense is seems that at the moment, there is no evidence of the company doing that.

Samsung also states that users are more than welcome to opt out of the Voice Recognition feature or disconnect the TV from their wireless network, although if that is the case customers would have essentially paid more for a TV whose features they won’t be able to use. What do you guys think?

Update – A Samsung spokesperson has since reached out to us with an official statement from the company:

“Samsung takes consumer privacy very seriously. In all of our Smart TVs we employ industry-standard security safeguards and practices, including data encryption, to secure consumers’ personal information and prevent unauthorized collection or use.

Voice recognition, which allows the user to control the TV using voice commands, is a Samsung Smart TV feature, which can be activated or deactivated by the user. The TV owner can also disconnect the TV from the Wi-Fi network. Should consumers enable the voice recognition capability, the voice data consists of TV commands, or search sentences, only. Users can easily recognize if the voice recognition feature is activated because a microphone icon appears on the screen.

Samsung does not retain voice data or sell it to third parties. If a consumer consents and uses the voice recognition feature, voice data is provided to a third party during a requested voice command search. At that time, the voice data is sent to a server, which searches for the requested content then returns the desired content to the TV.

Samsung encourages consumers to contact the company directly with any product concerns or questions at 1-800-SAMSUNG FREE.”

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