Smart TVs Can Now Eavesdrop on Your Conversations at Home

By Lee Bellinger / March 5, 2015

The new generation of Internet-enabled “smart” televisions provide greater functionality than your average TV. But they may be doing more than you
bargained for. They are designed to be interactive and to gather information. About you.

Samsung recently spilled the beans with this surprisingly frank notification buried in its privacy policy: “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 your TV has voice recognition, consider disabling it. If you go through your smart TV’s settings, you should be able to turn it off.

Suck in Your Gut! When Your
Very Own TV Watches You

Even better, from a privacy standpoint, prevent your smart TV from connecting to the Internet. Don’t plug it into an Internet port. And don’t let it access your home wi-fi network. (Your wi-fi network should always be secured with a passkey to prevent unauthorized persons or devices from connecting.)

It’s still possible to obtain a new, high-quality, full-HD television without the “smart” features. You can even still stream content from the Internet by connecting your TV to a video-streaming device such as a Roku.

When you don’t have any external Internet-enabled devices connected to your non-smart TV, you won’t have to worry about it emitting wi-fi signals or trying to upload your data to third parties.

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