Recently, we’ve been hearing a little too much about Samsung. Or, more specifically, they’ve been hearing us. Apparently, Samsung’s smart TVs can listen to us. This is somewhat frightening, right? I mean, come on, I don’t want just anyone knowing my personal, at home, meant-for-my-family kind of conversations. I’m sure I’m not the only one that feels that way. However, is that really what’s going on here? Is Samsung (or, any manufacturer of smart TVs for that matter) actually able to detect your conversation from inside your home? Well, sort of.
It can be a little confusing but, in all honesty, it shouldn’t come as too much of a shock. It’s actually kind of surprising that this topic is getting as much notability in the press as it is. Nowadays, everything has a mic that can be remotely turned on—your phone being the biggest culprit of them all. I know we all blindly accept the terms for any and all apps but maybe you should read them next time. Facebook can do it. They claim it’s encrypted and non-reversible into audio but no one really knows what’s really going on behind the scenes.
So, let’s get back to the TVs. Users are furious because the whole listening-to-your-conversation part was buried way too deep within the policy and terms and that it wasn’t clearly outlined and explained to the public. Another issue is the question of what Samsung actually does with this “encrypted” audio and whether or not it’s able to be intercepted by outlying hackers. Samsung’s response is simple, of course—we utilize safeguards, we uphold industry standards, and we do not allow unauthorized collection of our data, yada, yada, yada.
Thankfully, the solution to this is even simpler. Don’t agree to the voice recognition terms. Just keep the feature turned off. Yes, this means you’ll unfortunately have to use your remote. Darn.