Most of us have heard the above clause as a warning that, without adequate safeguards, a private conversation can be overheard. Samsung is now trying to upgrade that adage to, "The TV has ears."
The "feature" can, supposedly, be turned off but the article implies that Samsung is being coy about whether the microphone can be turned back on without the owner's knowledge. Even with such an assurance, there is no protection from a future upgrade or a rogue update that allows the microphone to be turned on remotely.
To provide you the Voice Recognition feature, some interactive voice commands may be transmitted (along with information about your device, including device identifiers) to a third-party service provider (currently, Nuance Communications, Inc.) that converts your interactive voice commands to text and to the extent necessary to provide the Voice Recognition features to you. [emphasis added]
An interesting thing about this is that the data is already acknowledged as belonging to Samsung and/or Nuance so it can be accessed it for a fee instead of having to get a pesky warrant.
The American public accepted being leashed by their smart phones, it is unlikely they will object to being further leashed by their televisions. Make me wonder if a dog realizes he is not free just because he has a longer leash than the other dogs.