0370 270 6000

Smart TVs too smart?

11 February 2015

It is being reported that smart televisions record owners’ conversations via voice recognition software, designed to allow users to control television features by voice command.

Privacy policies for such televisions contain wording confirming that, when using voice commands, if spoken words include personal information this will be transmitted to third parties who control the voice activation functions. Whilst the privacy policy states that such data is not sold to third parties it is unclear whether the personal data is used by the third parties for other purposes such as marketing.

The recordings only occur when the television microphone is switched on. However, given voice recognition features are a key selling point of such televisions a potentially large amount of personal data is being transmitted through this system.

This is the latest example of technological advancement stretching the boundaries of data protection regulations. This activity is likely to be contemplated by TV owners and perhaps more should be done to bring such features to the owner’s attention. It remains to be seen what use the TV manufacturers make of the data they collect.

Related opinions

IR35 rules to be scrapped from April 2023

The Chancellor’s recent mini-budget provided a significant announcement for business as it was confirmed that the off-payroll working rules (known as “IR35”) put in place for public and private sector businesses from 2017 and 2021 will be scrapped from April 2023.

View blog

Cameras in convenience stores: a potential hornet’s nest..?

A convenience retailer has opted to install cameras (the “Facewatch” system) at a limited number of its English stores to reduce crime and protect its staff.

View blog

80% hours for 100% pay? That’ll do nicely

As has been widely reported this week, some 3,000 UK workers are taking part in a six month trial to assess the viability of a four-day working week without any reduction in their normal pay.

View blog

Right to Work Checks: Changes from 6 April 2022

From 6 April 2022, right to work checks on all migrant or settled prospective employees must be online and checks on British or Irish nationals will be manual (free) or digital (charged for).

View blog

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up