The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over Samsung's business practices, in particular when it comes to the company's Smart TVs.
The complaint alleges that when enabled, the TVs' voice recognition feature will record and transmit data to a third party “regardless of whether it is related to the provision of the service.” The complaint goes on to say that Samsung has stated that once sent to a third party, the company is not responsible for the providers' privacy or security practices.
Although Samsung claims that it encrypts all data sent to its third-party voice recognition provider, Nuance, EPIC claims that computer researcher David Lodge determined that the company “does not encrypt all the conversations it records and transmits to Nuance.”
“The claims made by EPIC are not correct and do not reflect the actual features of our Smart TV," Samsung said in an email to SCMagazine.com. "Samsung takes consumer privacy very seriously and our products are designed with privacy in mind.”
Ultimately, Horwitz said, the privacy organization hopes the FTC will investigate Samsung's policy and that the findings will push companies to innovate in a way that doesn't put consumers' privacy at-risk.