Privacy Blog

"Friends don’t let friends get spied on.' – Richard Stallman, President of the Free Software Foundation and longtime advocate of privacy in technology.

Is Your Samsung Smart TV Spying on You?

Samsung’s Smart TVs have come under scrutiny recently after people learned the company’s privacy policy hinted that things we say within earshot of our televisions may be recorded and uploaded to third-party transcription services. While executives for the company have worked to calm people’s fears, a privacy group is now asked federal regulators to take a look into the matter.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission asking the agency to open an investigation into whether Samsung illegally recorded private conversations through its smart TVs.

Samsung admits the television sets do listen to all sounds in the room waiting with voice recognition software. The TVs appear to have the ability to surreptitiously record conversations in the room although company officials are protesting that they do not use that capability for anything other than to change channels, increase volume and to initiate other operations by voice commands.

Meanwhile, EPIC’s complaint states, “Samsung routinely intercepts and records the private communications of consumers in their homes. Consumers who have learned of this practices have described it is as both ‘unfair’ and ‘deceptive.’ Samsung’s attempts to disclaim its intrusive surveillance activities by means of a ‘privacy notice’ do not diminish the harm to American consumers.”

You can read more in the New York Times’ Bit Blog at

Categories: Legal Affairs, News & Current Events

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