Tag Archives: Matthew 12

Shhh, Your TV Is Listening!

Samsung got in hot water this week when the Korea Times reported a surprising disclosure from Samsung’s privacy policy. In the policy, Samsung warns that their “Smart TVs” are eavesdropping on private conversations! The policy reads:

“Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party through your use of Voice Recognition.”

In other words, you had better watch what you say in front of your TV; it is listening…always!

Of course, privacy groups and conspiracy theorists were quick to liken the feature to an Orwellian nightmare. But it isn’t quite that sinister. The truth is that the TV is “listening” for commands (it is, after all, voice-controlled). It is possible, therefore, that: 1) private conversations are recorded; 2) 3rd party software companies receive the conversation; 3) they analyze the words looking for voice commands; and 4) they send commands back to your TV set.

Still, I have never been happier with my “dumb” TV!

But it does make me wonder: “What kind of conversation would my TV capture?” What about yours? And would we watch what we say more carefully if our TVs were analyzing our conversations?  Would you be embarrassed if those words were made public?

Of course, few of us want to live in that public of a bubble.

But that doesn’t let us off the hook. Every single word we speak is known and recorded…and I don’t mean by Samsung and software companies. Jesus reminds us that we will “give an accounting…in the Day of Judgment” for every word. “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:36-37).

The standard, “let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth,” ought to guide us, no matter who is listening (Ephesians 4:29). God is always present, always watching, and always listening.

“And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13).

I don’t want my TV listening to my conversations, ever…for any reason. It just seems wrong. But maybe it would remind some of us to watch what we say a little more. And if a TV can do that, what does knowing that God hears every word and knows every thought cause us to do? Give it some thought…