Recent news reports and articles have raised red flags regarding the very popular “Smart TV.” While not all brands are affected, the ones that include the “voice activation” are the ones under fire. Could privacy be the price to pay for convenience in this case?
The issue applies when the “voice activation” feature is “active.” The TV sets can “listen” to what is being said and possibly automatically share it with third parties. In other words, while the person holding the remote (or closest) may be saying an actual command, the device can still pick up surrounding noise and transmit it as data.
Smart TV brands are responding to the issue by explaining that data has to be provided to a third party during a requested voice command search that is done with consent. The voice data has to be provided to a third party during a requested voice command search that is done with consent. The voice data is sent to a server, which researches the requested content and then returns the command to the TV. The data is not retained or sold to anyone. They also remind users that a “microphone icon” is visible on the screen when voice activation is turned on. So it is not to assume the device is randomly picking up voice data.
It seems that users did not realize their voice commands go anywhere beyond the room they are standing in. This recent controversy has informed users of a third party involved and it is a not a very welcomed piece of information. The “issue” may not go away, but it will surely have people thinking twice before using one of the latest convenient features. Not all new technology will be welcomed by everyone.