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Samsung smart TVs listen to your conversations

If you own a voice activated smart TV from Samsung, there's a good chance it's recorded conversations you've had with people in the same room, whether it was turned on or not. The worst part of that privacy invasion however, is that Samsung has been sending that information to third parties.

Samsung itself has warned users of this, after a single line in its TV privacy policy was discovered by the Daily Beast. “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,” the policy reads. The Korean electronics maker has now warned customers not do discuss sensitive information in-front of the TV, like some sort of 1984 telescreen.

This is the sort of thing that people were worried about when Microsoft told everyone that the Kinect camera on the Xbox One would be always on and always listening, hence why third parties even produced a privacy screen for it. Apparently though we should have been worried about another company entirely.


Samsung's explanation for the constant audio capture, is that it's waiting for someone to give it a command. However it is unapologetic about transmitting the information to a third party (presumably, the company that provides the voice recognition software), suggesting that people should be aware that they are being listened to when using a voice activated system.

“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,” it said.

It did however, stress that all conversations were encrypted, so would be hard for any unscrupulous individual to listen in on.

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KitGuru Says: While I'm hardly a big TV watcher, I think I'll be skipping over voice command features for a while yet. 

Image source: Anton Raath


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  1. Yea, I think I’ll be sticking with Vizio…

  2. I presume it’s going to be the same or similar software as on the Galaxy voice commands.

  3. There really should be no reason for the voice data to be sent to anyone… unless they have a bunch of people listening who then send the commands to the telly instead of software doing the voice control, lol.

  4. Breaking article 8 of the European convention on human rights.

  5. Robert Tenty Ashford

    I barely turn on my TV these days, it’s like almost everything has shifted to PC now that I own a bit of a monster rig, is anyone else the same?

  6. Kinda of glad I am done with samsung as it is. Even before this came out. There tvs are kinda of junk. Last less then two years and warranty is good for one.

  7. The only time I turn on my 50 inch t.v is when I connect it to my gaming laptop !

  8. Robert Tenty Ashford

    Dayum dude, that must be one killer GPU in that laptop for you to be getting pretty images with that size screen! It’s all about pixel density! Fair play to you I’m guessing it’s some MSI monster? I don’t think I could go any bigger than a 28 inch for PC.I’m on a 24 inch atm and I’m on the fence about going up to a 28, still getting opinions!

  9. I hardly ever play games on the plasma; it’s more for movies. Although it runs on 1080p I also know of the pixel density making a huge difference as you scale. I do consider my laptop to be quite beastly, so It is indeed a monster, not MSI though ( I prefer ASUS ROG ). I have it connected to 3 monitors making my setup quad screen. The games I run on the 24 inch 144hz monitor that sits above my laptop screen.

  10. If you don’t already have a 144hz monitor I highly recommend getting one for any gaming enthusiast.

  11. Robert Tenty Ashford


    Cheers man. That’s been a consideration for a while so I’m glad you say that. Toying around with adaptive v sync etc only goes so far… Thinking a 28 inch, 2440 @ 144hz will be the upgrade (going from 24 inch 1980 @ 60hz with shodyviewing angles it’ll probably feel heavenly) thanks for the input man.

  12. in 2h AM in the night my samsung smart TV (in off state) requested an IP address and started to transmit data, i went to living room and unplugged RJ-45 from that shit.