According to Samsung, those third parties perform such jobs as converting speech to text. Samsung said the voice-recognition data collection can be turned off via the TV's settings menu, but "this may prevent you from using all of the Voice Recognition features."
Samsung is not the only smart TV manufacturer collecting this type of data. In November 2013, the owner of a smart TV made by LG Electronics discovered that it was collecting information about his viewing habits, even when the feature to collect data was supposedly turned off. Also, the TV also collected the names of files stored on external media devices and sent the data to LG's servers.
Samsung unveiled its line of Smart TVs two years ago. Just over a year ago, the company boosted its voice interaction service, expanding it to 12 additional markets. Frequently used features like channel surfing, opening apps, and searching for shows could be accomplished using voice-recognition features that produce a pop-up window of results in response to commands.
Look for the Microphone
Samsung said it is transparent about its data gathering practices on its line of Smart TVs. In a statement e-mailed to media outlets, a company representative said the company provides "meaningful options for consumers to freely choose or to opt out of a service. We employ industry-standard security safeguards and practices, including data encryption, to secure consumers' personal information and prevent unauthorized collection or use."
Samsung pointed out that users can easily recognize when the voice recognition feature is active on a Samsung Smart TV because a microphone icon appears on the screen.