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Who’s watching who?
SECURITY

Who’s watching who? 

In an Orwellian occurrence that many believe is straight out of 1984, Samsung’s new SmartTV, a voice-controlled device that connects to the Internet, has the ability to transmit voice commands – and virtually anything else uttered within its presence – to a third party.

This information was found hidden in the privacy policy for the SmartTV, and Samsung has stated that the voice commands captured by the device are collected in an attempt to improve the SmartTV’s performance. But the fact that any audio picked up by the SmartTV is then sent to a third party has many consumers concerned.

The official text within the privacy policy reads, “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.”

A report from The Daily Beast confirmed this, and Samsung followed it up with the release of an official statement.

“Samsung takes consumer privacy very seriously,” the statement said. “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.”

Although smarter devices have made lives easier for some homeowners, the fact that the SmartTV can potentially record and transmit sensitive information and private conversations to a yet-to-be-named third party poses a major security risk for users.

“If I were the customer, I might like to know who that third party was, and I’d definitely like to know whether my words were being transmitted in a secure form,” Corynne McSherry, intellectual property director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation said in an interview with The Daily Beast.

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