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Samsung Updates Worrying Smart TV Policy

Yesterday we reported on Samsung’s questionable privacy policy for their smart TV’s, which had some users up in arms as the company revealed that voice input data collected by the television sets would be passed on to a mysterious third party once gathered.

“Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party through your use of Voice Recognition.” read the slightly scary document.

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However, once the media, including us, caught wind of the stink of users potentially getting exploited, Samsung was quick to change its tune, not only telling the media that their third party was simply a harmless server, but also changing their privacy policy to be more comprehensive, alleviating some user concerns.

Here’s the updated policy, which interestingly now includes just where input data might end up.

If you enable Voice Recognition, you can interact with your Smart TV using your voice. 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 addition, Samsung may collect and your device may capture voice commands and associated texts so that we can provide you with Voice Recognition features and evaluate and improve the features. Samsung will collect your interactive voice commands only when you make a specific search request to the Smart TV by clicking the activation button either on the remote control or on your screen and speaking into the microphone on the remote control.

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This updated policy does explain what the situation is in more detail with regards to where your information goes, but there are still more questions to be answered, such as just who are Nuance Communications and what do they do with information that they get from Samsung?

If you have a look at the privacy policy over at Nuance, it does indeed state that information they receive may be used for advertising and marketing, the details of which are also not made available. These multiple stages of hidden information aren’t a good look for Samsung – it’s really hard to trust a company when they share information in such a clandestine way.

Further Reading: Nuance Communications Privacy Policy

Via: Techcrunch