Saturday 16 December 2017

Not in front of the telly - it could be spying on you

Buying bigger TVs will be one of the major trends in Ireland this year
Buying bigger TVs will be one of the major trends in Ireland this year

David Mercer

Tech giant Samsung has warned customers against discussing personal or sensitive information in front of its voice-activated televisions.

The privacy policy for the company's Smart TV sets - which are on sale here - advises users of the voice recognition feature that their spoken words will be "among the data captured and transmitted."

Privacy campaigners have branded the policy "outrageous" and made comparisons to George Orwell's description of telescreens, which spied on citizens in his novel, '1984'.

According to reports, Samsung's policy states: "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."

The policy says: "While Samsung will not collect your spoken word, we may still collect associated texts and other usage data so that we can evaluate the performance of the feature and improve it."

Emma Carr, director of privacy campaign group Big Brother Watch, said: "Samsung need to understand that not everyone wants to be spied on by their TV. "Few people would expect a TV to intrude on our privacy, yet this is increasingly becoming the case."

Samsung has insisted it takes customer privacy "very seriously" and any gathering of users' information is carried out with the "utmost transparency".

Irish Independent

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