Your television is listening to you, maybe

Published 7:00 am Thursday, February 12, 2015

This week Samsung and its smart televisions have fallen under fire due to some disconcerting language in their privacy policy.
The policy states, “…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.” That wording has since been changed.
These newer smart televisions, which have embedded applications that allow for movie streaming and Internet browsing, now come with microphones installed in the remote and television set.
By enabling the feature, people can use voice commands to control certain features of the television. However, some facts should be relayed to allay some of the fears that ensued.
First you have to push the voice command button on the remote or television before the device will begin capturing your speech. Second, your set has to be connected to the Internet in order for any information to be sent back to Samsung or one of the third parties alluded to.
Several gaming consoles in this and the previous generation either came with, or offer a device capable of capturing your image and voice. Granted, those devices can be detached from the console, providing some peace of mind.
However the microphone in the television does not have that option.
Other things should also be considered. Just about everyone carries a cell phone, which also has a microphone capable of capturing your voice, and it’s connected all of the time.
The thing is, so many devices today could potentially be spying on you and you wouldn’t know it. The thing is, they aren’t.
Essentially, there’s really no cause for concern. While these devices are certainly not spying on you, if you are ever doubtful you could certainly stop using them.

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