Samsung TVs May Eavesdrop on You - So What?

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InvalidError

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There is a way to do voice recognition without having to send data to third-parties: do the voice recognition locally, as they used to do it on PCs years ago, instead of the cloud.
 

tehace

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No wonder the voice recognition on these TV's don't work 90% of the time. They are too busy listening to everything else I am saying to relay the commands. I turned off the feature long ago simply because it activated more times when I didn't want it than did.
 

JTWrenn

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This was a snarky and generally pissy article. Really came off like a take it or f off sort of statement. It also really missed the point. The TV doesn't need to send anything at all to 3rd parties....ever. It may need to send it to the cloud for proper voice recognition but 3rd parties are an entirely different thing. There should be 3 options for this. 1 completely on. 2 completely off. 3 on but no sharing/storing of data. Why is that so hard? Also, why does it need to store or send any data until it gets a keyword to start recording? I am pretty sure you can make a command sentence like "ok google" that starts the voice rec without recording everything. Would it have to listen sure...send everything to the net? Hell no. If their tech can't recognize 2 words without using the cloud it is crap and should not be used at all.
Either way respect your readers a bit more. Everyone has different needs/concerns in this world. Some want voice rec, and privacy. Just because you can live with one or the other doesn't mean everyone should.
 

ananke

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Data collection and reselling to third party is one of the major, if not the most part of revenue and profit increase. Nobody offers these services simply for customer's convenience - voice recognition, cloud, searches etc are building profiles which are the major profit center today.
 

SonSon1

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What happened with Toms anyway?? This article is a piece of poorly made OP-ED written by a typical gaming media level" journalist".
 

therealduckofdeath

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Did Tom's just hire a bunch of tech illiterates for 2015? First a supposedly hardcore Windows user who's trying to justify paying $600 for a used Mac and then this? Phones has been "eavesdropping" on us for years. My phone can be woken up simply by calling it.This is not eavesdropping, it's technology designed to work with touchless voice control.
 

Mikarri

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Is it right or moral? Debatable and ultimately a personal issue that will be different for everyone. Is it legal? Absolutely. I'm not saying I like my data being sold to people, but it's just a fact of the times we're living in. All those EUAs we all scroll down through in 2 seconds and click "I Agree" in an impatient fervor to start using the item or service clearly state things like what this article is talking about. You said you agreed to Samsung's, Microsoft's, Apple's or whomever's terms which were to use your data however they please. And why do we agree? Because we want what they're selling and if we did not agree to these kinds of terms one of two things would happen: either A, the product or service would go away, or B, it would cost large sums of money to use these products and services because now they would not get revenue from these third parties. Do you want to pay Facebook a monthly subscription? Do you want to pay twice or even three times as much for that tv or blu-ray player? Of course not. If these agreements are too much for you to be comfortable with, then sadly you'll just have to go without. At the end of the day you have to ask yourself if it's worth it, and if it's not...can you go without it?
 

alextheblue

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I don't know, smug prick, maybe the reason people find this invasive is that there's a tangible difference between typing words onto a website or email and having a completely offline conversation in your living room.
How dare you not enjoy being spied on 24/7 and having everything you say sent to third parties! I bet you don't even love the piss-poor security allowing these devices to be hacked and used to spy on you directly!

Seriously, you're comparing a device that sells your every word vs Google Now and Kinect that listen for keywords. Not even close. I don't really trust Google all that much but there's degrees of bad and this is BAD. We don't need a supposedly professional journalist apologizing for this bad behavior! This is as bad as the Nvidia RAMgate apologist article. Geez guys get it together! Expose bad behavior by these companies, don't celebrate it!
 

photonboy

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Misleading article?

1) The TV's aren't transmitting what you are saying word-for-word through the network.

2) The voice control is LOCAL and processed completely by the TV itself.

3) The ONLY thing passed through the network is which particular VOICE COMMANDS or search strings you used to determine which features you use (or don't use).

4) It appears to be a non-issue really, and more importantly can BENEFIT later users by collecting the necessary statistics to benefit the users.

5) The "search strings" used are no different than the data collected when you use Google.

6) People should be pro-active about privacy concerns but I don't think this is a problem.

Having said that, if the TV is designed in such a way that malware could transmit real conversations or even video for models with webcams that's a big issue to me.
 

Steve Simons

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I have two Samsung smart TVs about 5 years apart in age. Neither of the functions or wifi work worth a dump, so everything is disabled. Just a marketing ploy to get to charge more for a TV. If you can even get basic things like Pandora or Netflix to work on yours, I'd be impressed, because it's never worked well enough for me (I use Apple TVs instead with zero problems).
 

Christopher1

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There is a way to do voice recognition without having to send data to third-parties: do the voice recognition locally, as they used to do it on PCs years ago, instead of the cloud.
Bingo. That is how it should be done, on the device itself and not in the cloud. I am not at all comfortable with snippets of my voice and conversations being sent to the cloud, with the technology today (call me paranoid if you wish) that is more than enough for some malefactor in the government to FAKE my voice and get in me in trouble for X or Y.
 

Paul Wagenseil

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This was a snarky and generally pissy article. Really came off like a take it or f off sort of statement. It also really missed the point. The TV doesn't need to send anything at all to 3rd parties....ever. It may need to send it to the cloud for proper voice recognition but 3rd parties are an entirely different thing. There should be 3 options for this. 1 completely on. 2 completely off. 3 on but no sharing/storing of data. Why is that so hard? Also, why does it need to store or send any data until it gets a keyword to start recording? I am pretty sure you can make a command sentence like "ok google" that starts the voice rec without recording everything. Would it have to listen sure...send everything to the net? Hell no. If their tech can't recognize 2 words without using the cloud it is crap and should not be used at all.
Either way respect your readers a bit more. Everyone has different needs/concerns in this world. Some want voice rec, and privacy. Just because you can live with one or the other doesn't mean everyone should.
Are you mad at us, or are you mad at Samsung? I agree that the TV shouldn't send info to third parties, but it apparently does.
 

Avus

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Do people in Tomshardware also worry about their Apple products also eavesdrop as well? You know Apple is also not well known for its security...
 

Paul Wagenseil

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Any device that always listens for voice commands will do this -- e.g., an Xbox One with Kinect. For Apple, I believe you have to call up the Siri app on an iPhone or iPad before it responds to voice commands, so I don't think it's always listening.

However, Windows 10 will have voice-recognition Cortana, and you can enable it so it's always listening for your commands -- though, at least in the builds available now, it's disabled by default.
 
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