FLINT TOWNSHIP (WJRT) - (02/16/17) - A popular electronics company is telling customers not to discuss personal information in front of their Smart TVs.
In the fine print of Samsung Smart TV directions, it warns consumers that if you say something personal or sensitive, it can be captured through the voice recognition feature. Then, it's sent to a third party for translation.
"When you turn on a voice recognition system, you are sending your words through the Internet out to some translation software somewhere in the cloud. It’s taking your words, turning them into text," said University of Michigan-Flint professor Marcus Paroske.
It's just not Samsung, this month Vizio was fined more than $2 million for collecting information from its Smart TVs about what people watch without them knowing.
"The even scarier thing about these devices is that they can be hacked. So, it’s possible for someone who is trying to spy on you to use the microphones on your devices to overhear conversations in your house," Paroske said.
Paroske says the electronic mega corporations say they don't attach the data collected to a specific individual.
"We are going to have to start thinking about seriously how much privacy we are willing to give up," Paroske said.
Facebook has also been accused of listening in on people's conversation to use the information for advertising.
The company denies it.
If you're concerned, there is an easy fix. Just go to the Facebook application on your smart device and disable the microphone.