Samsung In Hot Water Over Television Voice Recognition Data

| by Kendal Mitchell
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Technology company Samsung is currently fighting off claims that it stores information about users and sends it to other companies.

In Samsung’s privacy policy, the company states it "may collect and capture voice commands and associated texts" to provide customers with "Voice Recognition features and evaluate and improve the features.”

However, privacy activists fear how the data used by Samsung will be stored and collected.

Samsung states the voice commands may be transmitted to a third-party service through the use of Voice Recognition.

Once a user enables Voice Recognition to control their television, Samsung only collects voice data for TV commands and search sentences, a company spokesperson said.

The spokesperson added it may collect and capture voice commands so the company can improve its products’ features in the future.

Samsung's voice recognition software has to be activated by the user for its first use, and can be deactivated at any time.

Despite Samsung’s claims that it only uses the data to improve customer service, other firms have hacked into Samsung devices to eavesdrop on unsuspecting people.

In 2012, ReVuln, a Malta-based security firm, installed malicious software into a Samsung television that allowed hackers to find personal information stored in the device. They claimed they could use the television’s built-in microphones and camera to listen to and watch those near it.

“We can install malicious software to gain complete root access to the TV,” ReVuln programmers said.

Others said they think Samsung’s monitoring of their view habits is an invasion of privacy.

Monitoring described in any Samsung terms and conditions television contract allows for advertisers to target specific individuals for certain products based on past searches.

Samsung officials said they do not sell voice data to third parties, but did not explain what happened to data when it is no longer needed. 

Sources: Daily Mail  / Photo Credit: Amazon