Your Samsung Smart TV is not spying on you

By | February 15, 2015

It seems lately that the internet has erupted with some misleading news claiming that Samsung Smart TVs are spying on you, just like out of George Orwell’s novel 1984. This is untrue, media outlets are reporting wrong information. This is what media outlets thrive on though, spreading hype and hysteria to get people to read their news, even if it is completely untrue.

Someone has taken their time to read Samsung’s privacy policy which is associated with their Smart TVs. The main paranoia behind it is in the privacy policy it states “some voice commands may be transmitted (along with information about your device, including device identifiers) to a third-party service”. Apparently this escalated and media outlets everywhere are implying that the TVs are somehow recording everything that is said in the TVs presence.

Articles like Why your Samsung TV is spying on you by CNET, Are Samsung smart TVs spying on us, like in ‘1984’? by News.com.au, and even the ABC implied that the TVs listen in on personal conversations.

It’s actually quite the opposite, and a convoluted process. To even activate the voice command on the Samsung TV, the user has to (and always) press a button on the remote. Then a large icon appears on the screen which prompts you to say something like “Channel Up” or “Smart Hub”. It seems easier to just press the channel up key than this two-step process.

The voice activation in Samsung TVs have been around for awhile and seems no more different than Apple’s “Siri” or Google’s “Okay Google”. However if you’re still overly paranoid, or simply don’t use the voice recognition feature you can easily disable it.

  1. Press the menu button on your remote and go to Settings
  2. Scroll to Smart Features and select it
  3. Scroll until you see Voice Recognition and disable it

There you go, your TV can no longer “spy” on you, quite simple huh? Now I just wish media outlets would stop spreading mis-information. I wont hold my breath though.