Samsung denies privacy risk after being called out on their creepy privacy policy

  • 10/02/2015 AT 23:42 by It's a Gadget Staff
  • News

SamsungBy now, you have probably heard about the discovery made by Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Parker Higgins. Last week, he found a portion of the endless Samsung privacy policy for their Smart TV’s that warned users now to say anything sensitive or revealing in front of their televisions, lest it be overheard.

The direct quote in the policy is:

“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.”

That sounds rather sinister, but Samsung is denying that there are any issues. According to the company, the voice activation feature just triggers certain phrases that act as commands. Those commands are then sent to a third party, which collects data related to the voice feature’s use. They have gone on the record claiming that any concern is an over reaction, and of course your Samsung Smart TV isn’t recording your conversations, or sending unrelated details to third parties.

Many consumer protection and privacy advocate’s disagree strongly. Higgins, after alerting the public to the phrasing, compared it to the telescreens in George Orwell’s dystopian classic ‘1984′. Others have pointed out the possibility of giving information over to government agencies who are continuing their surveillance even after global outcry following the revelation of the NSA’s and other international department’s limitless scope and reach.

This is another comparison that Samsung says is ridiculous. But is it?

If what they claim is true, and that nothing but the voice activation commands are being sent when the TV is connected, why the warning? Why would consumers have to watch what they say, and what kind of sensitive information or personal details would be threatened through nothing but simple, preset commands that control your TV set’s functions?

It seems more than a little suspect that they would put such an alarming clause in their policy without reason. After all, they had to know that someone would eventually see it, and that by its very nature it would cause controversy. Especially after Microsoft lost so many sales of the XBox One to Sony’s Playstation 4 following their initial plan to force consoles to be always connected and recording both visual and audio data.

Times are changing, and privacy is becoming non-existent. But to have such a blatant denial of something that they literally put right into the text of their own legal documents, for everyone to see, is disturbing.

Source: The Guardian


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