NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — When you watch television, your TV set might be watching back with new technology that can virtually see or hear what’s going on in your home.

As CBS2’s Weijia Jiang reported, Samsung’s Smart TV uses technology to enable voice commands, but some are worried the smart TV could hear too much.

Buried in the Samsung privacy policy is a note reading, “If your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be captured and transmitted to a third party.”

This was not welcome news for some consumers.

“That’s not good,” said Pablo Bibraut of the Upper West Side. “I don’t like that.”

Dan Ackerman, a section editor for, said it is best to read the fine print in cases such as this.

“The only thing scarier than reading the fine print on this, is not reading it, because you don’t know what they’re doing,” Ackerman said. “At least they’re very explicit in saying on this particular TV, if you use the voice command option, we’re going to record your voice; send it somewhere.”

Ackerman said your information goes to a server that helps deliver your request. But he warned that it might also be used for consumer research.

And televisions are not the only gadgets gathering information about you. Almost everything you call a smart device – like a smartphone – monitors what you say if you talk to it.

“I think that’s the way technology is going, unfortunately,” said Fiona Mackay of the West Village. “So the onus is on the customer these days to do research.”

In a statement, Samsung said, “In all of our Smart TVs we employ industry-standard security safeguards and practices, including data encryption, to secure consumers’ personal information and prevent unauthorized collection or use.”

And Ackerman said it is fairly simple to protect oneself.

“If you hate this concept, just use your remote and press the buttons on it instead of talking to your TV or game console,” Ackerman said.

In other words, if you don’t want your TV to listen, it is best not to talk.


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