Samsung Introduces Consumers to ‘Big Brother’ via TV

This isn't the comfort of your own home

samsung big brother

Bibliophiles will tell you that noted author George Orwell was ahead of his time.

The man was a sociopolitical giant who opposed fascism, and fancied polemic journalism: Animal Farm established that fact and 1984 proved it. The latter book introduced the world to the concept of “Big Brother.”

By now, we have all used the term when the boss installs a camera in the break room, when “the man” insists on having access to our passwords, or even when the parents break into social media platforms.

Now the word is out: Big Brother has found his meddlesome way into your Samsung Smart TV. Technology has created something called voice recognition, which means if you are too lazy to get off your blessed assurance and grab a remote, you can bark a command at your TV to find a program or turn up the volume.

But your TV has ears…and one big mouth:

“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 posted in its SmartTV privacy policy.

Samsung-smarttv-F6400That’s right: your TV is a town gossip.

As this story continued to gain traction across social media and resulted in more people unplugging their TV/rearranging their tin foil hates, Samsung released a statement:

“Samsung does not retain voice data or sell it to third parties” … “If a consumer consents and uses the voice recognition feature … the voice data is sent to a server, which searches for the requested content then returns the desired content to the TV.”

Samsung admits that its technology, collects users’ voice data and images and sends it to a third party, but the purpose of the whole scheme is only “to improve its system.”

Does that make you feel better? And is “privacy policy” really the best phrase to use here?