If Smart TV’s and other voice recognition devices must be turned on with voice commands, this means that the devices are always listening, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.
Reading the fine print on the company’s website, you fill find the following notice in the voice recognition section:
“If you enable Voice Recognition, you can interact with your SmartTV using your voice. To provide you the Voice Recognition feature, some voice commands may be transmitted (along with information about your device, including device identifiers) to a third-party service that converts speech to text or to the extent necessary to provide the Voice Recognition features to you. In addition, Samsung may collect and your device may capture voice commands and associated texts so that we can provide you with Voice Recognition features and evaluate and improve the features. 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.”
In addition to the obvious privacy concerns with Smart TV’s, users have also complained about various operational issues as well. Namely, since the television is connected to the internet and runs like a computer it requires apps and software to run, but unfortunately, the software is made by the television companies instead of a software developer, so it is typically well below the industry standard.
Also, many Smart TV users don’t even need the internet capabilities, a report from NPD last year found that only 10% of Smart TV owners actually used the online functions. Regardless of these issues, many people are expecting all televisions to become connected to the internet soon enough.
John Vibes writes for True Activist and is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture and the drug war.