Don’t Tell the TV
In the latest edition of “The Creepy Files” Samsung announced that owners who control their Smart TV’s using its voice activation feature are being recorded and transmitted to third party companies. Smart TV’s are those that are constantly connected to the Internet to use the included applications such as Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, MLB TV, etc. These applications require a constant, persistent connection to operate.
These TV sets listen to every conversation held in front of the screen, searching out key words that the software determines are command phrases. Samsung released a statement that says the microphone would be able to controlled from the sets and people would know it is on by an icon.
This announcement is reminiscent of Microsoft’s idea for voice control of the Kinect sensor on the new Xbox One gaming system. Kinect originally was required for the system to operate. People found that idea invasive enough that eventually Microsoft pulled the idea of requiring the sensor to make the system work. It is now optional.