More and more devices such as Smart TV's, are offering the option of voice recognition. This can be very convenient, especially for users with mobility issues or visual impairment. However TV manufacturer Samsung is warning customers to remember that someone is listening when they use voice recognition!
But these devices aren't just listening to your commands, Samsung also cautions users to “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 hold on. What does this mean for us? Is Big Brother listening to us?
It does not appear that the applications are listening into you all the time. Phew. It looks like anything spoken whilst you are using the voice recognition function with the app can be heard via that app. It does make sense that any app is not going to intelligent enough to understand what you are saying to it all of the time, or what you are saying to anyone else in the room.
Samsung insists it’s not trying to listen in on users and that it isn’t selling their recorded conversations to third-parties. It says the apps are designed only to hear certain commands, but there’s always the possibility that apps could pick up other spoken words, hence the need for the disclaimer. It’s true that all good voice recognition apps store your commands so they can learn your voice.
Now you’ll see privacy information like this when you enable any smart TV and the voice recognition can’t get turned on unless you agree to it. If you fail to agree to the terms, you may find that many of the functions of your smart TV won’t work.