Be careful what you say in front of your Samsung TV. It’s listening to you.
Many Samsung “SmartTVs” come equipped with voice recognition, which allows you to bark commands at your TV. Since the television is always listening for your voice, Samsung has warned its SmartTV customers that every word is being captured and sent over the Internet.
Okay, that’s pretty creepy.
Samsung says it needs to send your voice commands to a third-party, because that company converts your speech to text. But Samsung also collects your voice commands to perform research and determine whether it needs to make improvements to the feature.
Samsung noted that a microphone appears on the screen when the voice recognition feature is turned on, notifying customers that their voice is being captured. You can opt-out of the SmartTV voice recognition feature.
But even if you opt out, your voice commands will still be captured. The SmartTV has a set of pre-programmed commands that it recognizes even if you opt out of voice recognition. Samsung will collect the text of those pre-programmed voice commands (though not your voice itself) and analyze how much you’re using certain commands.
“Samsung does not retain voice data or sell it to third parties,” the company said in a statement. “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 did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the identity of the third party or whether that company records the voice data.