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Samsung TV audio data could help government catch terrorists, says expert

UNIVERSITY NEWS LAST UPDATED : 09 FEBRUARY 2015
samsung tv

Samsung’s controversial “1984” style TV could be used to detect terrorist activity, according to a cyber security expert at Birmingham City University.

Samsung is warning customers to avoid discussing personal information in front of their smart television set, following the introduction of a new policy which allows the company and its partners to listen in on everything that users say.

Professor Mike Jackson, an expert in computer science and cyber security at Birmingham City University’s Business School, said: “In today’s mechanised age we know that absolutely every word we say can be analysed by computers.

“From a technical point of view, Samsung’s policy makes sense to locate language deciphering software in a centralised location. However, the implications are huge on a human level.

“The only parts of the conversation the television needs to react to are the instructions about displaying programmes. If Samsung have access to everything we say, can we trust them not to use our words to determine whether we are likely to buy other products? Given that our words are being transmitted out of our homes do we trust them to keep them private?

“It’s important to remember here how much information Sony lost to hackers. Could we see this happening again? Or perhaps the Government would like to access the information the television collects so that it can better identify dissident individuals and use it as a tool to combat terrorism.”

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