In that sense, these smart televisions are simply a logical extension of a popular trend. If you’re going to worry about them, you’ll also need to worry about your smartphone, tablet, personal computer, speaker, Web browser, and any other product featuring voice controls.
If you’re anything like me, you worry about all those things, and more. But I suspect most consumers won’t be too worried about Samsung’s television sets when they’re just like all the other products with which people are surrounded every moment of their waking lives.
There’s nothing wrong with criticizing companies for industry practices. But in this instance, I think it’s better to condemn Samsung for decisions unique to its products, not a clause that simply allows these “smart” television sets to share information with an outside company.
Consider instead its decision to insert advertisements into consumers’ videos even though they own, or have otherwise paid for, whatever they’re watching. Or consider the decision not to encrypt its voice data.
Though I suppose there is one aspect of this new research Samsung should welcome: it shows that the television sets aren’t listening to a consumer’s every word; just those uttered as part of a voice command. Samsung made dumb mistakes, but it’s not “1984” dumb. Not yet.