BUSINESS

Samsung SmartTVs May Share Private Talks With 3rd Party

02/09/2015 11:16 EST | Updated 04/11/2015 05:59 EDT
When you're relaxing in front of the TV with your loved ones, it may sometimes seem like a good time to open up and get some private thoughts off your chest. But if you have a Samsung SmartTV, you may be opening up to more people than you intend.

The issue arises if you have the TV's voice recognition feature turned on to allow you to control the TV with voice commands.

In an updated Global Privacy Policy, Samsung explains that some voice commands may be transmitted, along with information such as the identity of your device, to a third-party service that converts speech to text in order to provide the voice recognition feature.

"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 company said in the SmartTV supplement of its privacy policy.

Samsung itself may also capture voice commands, including the versions converted to text, the company said.

Data collection can be disabled

Samsung noted that users can disable voice recognition data collection in the settings menu.

"However, this may prevent you from using all of the voice recognition features," the document said.

The updated policy was flagged last week by the online news website The Daily Beast.

In a statement to The Daily Beast and several other media outlets, the company noted that it takes consumer privacy seriously and uses "industry-standard security safeguards and practices, including data encryption, to secure consumers' personal information and prevent unauthorized collection or use."

Samsungs are not the only SmartTVs that have raised privacy concerns since they hit the market.

In 2013, LG Electronics Inc. confirmed that some of its smart TVs were sending information on home viewing habits back to the company without consent. It said it would fix the problem.

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