Talking tech since 2003

The other day, news hit that Samsung’s Smart TV line might be listening to your conversations to make its voice command functions work. People started getting upset over the wording of the device line’s privacy policy, which said that some of what you say might get beamed over to “third parties,” which, in reality, were just apps that could beam whatever content you asked for to the screen in front of you. It doesn’t matter that Samsung had no intention on listening in on your conversations via your television – the company has changed the privacy policy to make people not be scared of televisions.

In a post that’s hilariously titled “Samsung Smart TVs Do Not Monitor Living Room Conversations,” the company explains that Samsung Smart TVs do not monitor living room conversations.

So what’s the privacy policy say now? Basically the same thing, but slightly differently worded:

“To provide you the Voice Recognition feature, some interactive voice commands may be transmitted (along with information about your device, including device identifiers) to a third-party service provider (currently, Nuance Communications, Inc.) that converts your interactive voice commands to text and to the extent necessary to provide the Voice Recognition features to you.”

In the end, Samsung has changed exactly nothing about the way its Smart TVs will work; you are still inviting an Internet-connected, microphone-equipped television into your home, and you’re still making requests using your voice, which will be carried elsewhere. If you were worried about that situation happening before, it will still happen. But then – again – if you use email, text messages, social networking of any kind…this is basically happening to you in one way or another.

But anyway, good job, Internet. You got Samsung to write a blog post about practically nothing. You’re doing great.

[Samsung Tomorrow Blog]

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