of the manufacturer’s new line of televisions felt the need to put
television’s voice-command capabilities may record personal information
and share it with “third parties.”
asserting that the televisions did not record personal information, and
the only information being sent to third parties involved the specific
use of commands spoken to the television for functionality purposes. While
Samsung may have alleviated some of the discontent, it still left unsettling
questions: What are the capabilities of this new technology, and its subsequent
effects on our privacy? Furthermore, do the technological benefits outweigh
the potential for abuses? And, who are these “third parties”
invading into an individual’s private life?
Samsung, SmartTVs and the NSA
Over the last few years, the public has been made aware of the vast capabilities
the government has in terms of surveillance. From the storing emails and
phone messages on a global scale, to activating the microphones and cameras
on our cellphones without our knowledge, the government’s ability
to pry into the lives of any citizen is a real and an ongoing concern
for many. While there comes a cost to every piece technology that we allow
into our lives, we must ask ourselves whether the added benefit the technology
brings truly outweighs whatever effects it has on individual privacy—both
known and potential—that inevitably come with it? In this instance,
does having a microphone in your television that sends data outside of
your home regarding what is spoken really worth saving a few seconds of
fumbling with a remote?
Can SmartTVs Be Used in Criminal Investigation?
On a more serious level, these privacy concerns have the potential to severely
violate a person’s constitutional rights. The first thing that comes
to mind is the marital privilege. What if a married couple is discussing
private matters and the SmartTV picks up the conversation and subsequently
transmits the private information to a third party. That conversation
is no longer privileged and could have legal implications. Another example
is the right against self-incrimination. What if a person is thinking
out loud and the SmartTV records and transmits the statement? Further,
what if this statement is taken out of context and carries criminal implications?
This would lead to police showing up on people’s doorsteps unannounced
in an attempt to obtain a confession to be used against them in a court
of law. The examples are limitless.
The attorneys at Bleile & Dawson are experienced in all aspects of
criminal law, especially as it related to protecting your constitutional
rights. If your rights have been infringed upon, contact us today at (513)
399-5945 for a completely confidential consultation.