In Soviet Samsung -- TV watches YOU

Mind your P's and Q's near appliances.


Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean a "third party" isn't after you. Information gathered about consumers citizens from web cookies, CCTV cameras, cell phones, tablets, social media, credit cards, search engines, credit reports and discount cards is no longer sufficient. The "third party" needs more information. Enter Samsung.

Thanks to herculean development efforts, Samsung's Smart TV service provides a much needed "voice data provided to a third party" feature. Yes -- thanks to Samsung -- anything you say in front of your TV can now be sent to the "third party." All in the privacy of your own home.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers can't wait until the next big thing.

Filling in for our humble blogwatcher Richi Jennings, is a humbler Stephen Glasskeys.

Chris Matyszczyk brushes up on newspeak:

Why worry about Big Brother?

It's your big Samsung TV that's watching you. Oh, and listening to you.  MORE

Lizzie Plaugic (and a TV) watches what she says:

It's been nearly 70 years since George Orwell's dystopian novel 1984 was published, but some of its premonitions [are] straight out of 2015.

In other words, don't say anything around your TV that you wouldn't want recorded and sent off to a faceless "third party."  MORE

Even if he speaks gibberish, JC Torres knows someone will listen:

A review of Samsung's privacy policy, which, like many other such policies, are dense and full of legal gibberish, reveals that the [Korean] manufacturer's intelligent entertainment displays transmit even spoken words to a third party.

The relevant part of Samsung's policy reads thus: "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"  MORE

But Simon Sharwood opts to stay in bed:

[This] is downright nasty, as it suggests that if you use internet banking on my Samsung tellie and speak the password, the Korean company and/or its service providers have a record of you intoning "123456" on a regular basis. Assuming you're one of many using the world's dumbest password.

And let's not even begin to ponder how the sets' cameras and fitness services might use that data...if a program moves to amorous activity on the sofa.  MORE

Tyler Lee doesn't keep or purchase official statements:

A Samsung spokesperson has since reached out to us with an official statement from the company.

Samsung does not retain voice data or sell it to third parties. If a consumer consents and uses the voice recognition feature, voice data is provided to a third party during a requested voice command search. At that time, the voice data is sent to a server, which searches for the requested content then returns the desired content to the TV.  MORE

Nothing frightens Marshall Honorof:

If you're frightened about Samsung sharing what you say with advertisers, accept...that whatever you type into the TV is fair game.

Shady data collection is hardly unique to Samsung. Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and just about every company on the Internet...including Korean TV maker LG...take your data (with your permission) and sell it to advertisers, and some of them even do it by listening into you. Read their privacy policies.  MORE

Meanwhile, Dan Gillmore explores new markets:

Maybe Samsung, with its locked-down phones and Orwellian TV that spies on customers, is hoping to win the North Korean market, too.  MORE

You have been reading IT Blogwatch by Richi Jennings and Stephen Glasskeys, who curate the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites…so you don't have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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