I’ve seen a bunch of stories on the wording of Samsung’s privacy statement for their SmartTV.
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
Sure, that’s awfully creepy sounding. Many people have made the comparison to 1984’s Big Brother, always listening to you. However, is what it’s actually doing any more creepy than Siri on the iPhone? Or Google Now? Not really. In all these cases, the machine, be it your TV or your smartphone, listens to your voice, sends that information to a server somewhere else, processes it on that server, and sends the response back your local device.
So, it’s probably good that they let you know that they’re listening.
What might companies tell you?
- Are they retaining the information (rather than simply processing it and executing commands)? If they do retain your information, for how long?
- D0 they transfer the info to third parties? Do they sell it to third parties?
- Is there any encryption? Or is it all transferred in the clear?
- How are they monetizing your data?
Apparently now Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) requested information from Samsung and LG about their privacy policies and what they do with the voice information they collect. Franken does have a strong pro-privacy record, but I doubt any actual action will be forthcoming. It’s up to consumers to press these companies to have clearer privacy policies that actually explain what they do.