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Smart TVs Voice Recognition Software Could be Vulnerable to Hackers

As everyone's getting used to the new tv's they got over the holiday season here's a reminder many smart televisions do have the ability to record your voice.

And the list of products that can do that is expanding as are security concerns that the technology is not being used for its intended purpose.

  

If you scroll down to look at this tv's 'smart features, you can find instructions on voice controls.

Meet one of the guys who says he holds a directly-related patent.

"Yeah, I had a background with a start-up organization that worked in developing what's known as voice independent voice recognition," said Paul Hagar.

Adding to his expertise, Hager is now the CEO and president of information technology professional which addresses tech concern including security across Wisconsin.

Now the technology is in new televisions allow you to demand the weather forecast or stock prices.

"This might be someone's worst fear in the situation: you're just walking down the street, minding your own business, going about your day - but without you knowing your voice, something that you consider a part of your identity is being stored or sent from your tv back home," Hager said. "Well here's the good news: technology experts say that's not really the intention of the system. However, it could be abused.

This is how the voice recognition is supposed to work.

You talk and your tv hears it. The data is sent out where it's processed.

Hager says it's possible for a hacker to directly target a device and gather data without you approving or knowing.

A company could sell your voice data to a third party.

The information's considered valuable by the company, while you might not be aware it's been sent on.

"The market hasn't changed a lot. In fact we have more devices that are more voice recognition enabled than we did a year ago."

Alertists online have compared the gathering to George Orwells book 1984, or if you asked your smart tv to find you a 1997 film starring Sylvester Stallone.

It might find you this clip from demolition man showing his character automatically being fined for swearing in his own home.

is that an unreasonable guess for the future based on the technology?

"We're not there. That's an extreme example of where the technology is today.  I don't think people need to lose sleep over as a country," Hager said. "You can disable the feature in your smart tv. You can choose to disable the Wi-Fi or not connect it to a network. So there's all sort of options that you have as a consumer to disable or void this technology."

Just some piece of mind if you don't want your voice going to a remote place.

And if you're wondering that tech expert says yes he does own a Samsung smart tv.

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