Shhh… Quiet… Your T.V. is listening to your private conversations!

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PHOTO: Courtesy of SamsungTomorrow
PHOTO: Courtesy of SamsungTomorrow

 

Having a conversation with your spouse you don’t want anyone else to hear? Well then you better make for sure that your television set isn’t in the same room with you. No joke, we’re being completely serious here!

Late last week someone actually took the time to read the fine print, mumbo jumbo stuff that accompanies Samsung’s SmartTV – if you’re anything like me, this is the tiny book you briefly lay eyes upon while you were pulling your awesome new LCD out of the box. Any future whereabouts of the legal jargon “blah, blah, blah” book is unknown.

What they read in the SmartTV‘s privacy policy was nothing short of alarming:
“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.”

If this doesn’t qualify as creepy then I’m not really sure what else does!

Where are televisions generally kept? In one’s living room or bedroom – therefore, you may want to refrain from including “personal or other sensitive information” in your “spoken words” while inside these two rooms, per the company’s privacy policy.

Talk about some real 1984 Big Brother stuff! It may have taken 31 years later than Mr. Orwell expected, but it has finally arrived.

According to Samsung company officials, who, presumably, are now on the eve of the greatest PR battle of their lifetimes, the company needs to send your voice commands to a third-party vendor, who is responsible for converting your speech to understandable commands.

This may all be well and good, but first of all, who is this third party vendor? No one is saying. Which means that if you have a SmartTV in your home and are allowing the Voice Recognition feature, then you are allowing someone the right to listen to everything that happens in your living room and bedroom.

How’s that for some bedtime reading material? Pretty chilling.

Now granted, the chances of some pervy guy sitting in a cubicle with a set of headphones on, listening to you and your husband discuss God only knows what in your bedroom are fairly slim.

On the other hand, the odds of that company getting hacked and some pervy guy sitting in his mother’s basement with headphones on, listening to you and your husband discuss God only knows what in your bedroom may prove to be more likely than some would dare to risk.

The bottom line is this, Hollywood stardoms, large companies and entire national governments are victims of hacking on an almost daily basis. These hackers often expose embarrassing material or gain access to data we as the general public were assured would be kept safe; “sure, go ahead and give us your social security number, date of birth, mother’s maiden name and your pet,” said my health insurance carrier last year, “it’s all safe…”

Last week, however, I get an email from this same company, letting me know that my sensitive information “may have been compromised by hackers.”

“May have,” well at least it’s kinda refreshing to know that they know no more than I do!

“No need to stop here, keep moving along,” say’s ‘the man.’

As Taylor Swift recently learned, “Hackers gonna hack, hack, hack, hack, hack.”

We’ve now entered an era when the stakes have risen even higher. In the future, they won’t just be getting your email address and social security number – they just might be gaining access to the devices in your home – while you’re completely unaware.

Hope you enjoy the ease of not needing a remote any more, now that you can simply tell the T.V. to change the channel and oh, by the way, I agree with what you said to your husband the other night in your bedroom – he needed to hear that… and so did I.

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