The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) hasn’t bought into Samsung’s claims that its smart TVs aren’t listening in to people’s conversations and has decided to take the matter to the FTC. The privacy group has asked the commission to look into the South Korean company’s smart TVs and determine whether or not the devices are listening in on conversations and, more disturbingly, recording them.
The Electronic Privacy Information Center has asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Samsung over what it says is the recording of private conversations in homes through the company’s television sets. The privacy rights group filed a complaint with the commission on Tuesday accusing Samsung of violating federal laws with a technology that allows viewers to operate the company’s Internet-connected smart TVs with voice commands. In the past, EPIC has also complained to the commission about the privacy practices of Google and Facebook. The companies ended up settling their cases with the F.T.C. The complaint underscores the privacy minefield that technology companies are wading into as they cook up new methods of operating devices with voice commands and other techniques. Samsung’s sets allow people to change channels, increase volume and search for recommended programs to watch by using their voices, rather than by pushing buttons on a remote control.