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Samsung’s smart TV privacy policy should scare you to death

Published Feb 6th, 2015 9:40AM EST
Samsung Smart TV Privacy Policy

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If you’re already worried about your smartphone or PC spying on you, just wait until you see what smart TVs are capable of. The Korea Times reports that Samsung’s smart TV privacy policy has been coming under heavy scrutiny because it says that your TV can record your voice and sell the contents of what you say to undisclosed “third parties.”

RELATED: Man who owns a smart TV says he’s ‘afraid’ of using it after reading its privacy policy

If you don’t believe us, here’s the exact clause: “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.”


Now, we can see from the full privacy policy that Voice Recognition must be actively turned on for you to use voice commands on your TV, which means that your Samsung TV won’t be passively sucking up everything you say unless you want to use your voice to control it.

All the same, this notice is particularly scary because at the end of its privacy policy, Samsung specifically says that it isn’t responsible for third parties’ privacy policies whatsoever.

“Please note that when you watch a video or access applications or content provided by a third-party, that provider may collect or receive information about your SmartTV (e.g., its IP address and device identifiers), the requested transaction (e.g., your request to buy or rent the video), and your use of the application or service,” Samsung writes. “Samsung is not responsible for these providers’ privacy or security practices. You should exercise caution and review the privacy statements applicable to the third-party websites and services you use.”

Well thanks for the warning, Samsung, but would it kill you to perhaps review the privacy policies of these third parties to ensure they aren’t doing anything overly creepy before you let them collect data from your users?

Read Samsung’s full smart TV privacy policy at the source link below.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.