Samsung's smart TVs will listen in on you, if you let them, but there doesn't appear to be any nefarious purpose behind it. Although the voice recognition software on Samsung smart TVs does indeed listen in on what you say and transmit data to a third party, the company claims it does so in order to improve the software, not to glean any personal information.
As it turns out, Samsung does not appear to be doing anything untoward with the gathered voice data. At present, the company is sharing it with Nuance Communications, Inc., a company that specializes in speech recognition software. When the company monitors your voice, it does so with the intention of making speech patterns more recognizable.
The company also clarified that it does not eavesdrop on users, but only collects data when a user is speaking directly into the microphone for a search or command function. How exactly the company differentiates commands from idle conversation is not clear, but volume and keywords likely factor into the equation.
As before, you can still disable voice recognition entirely in the settings menu. However, this means that your ability to control your smart TV with your voice will be severely limited.
Speaking with Samsung last week, Tom's Guide determined that although the company collects data for third parties, it does not sell consumer data. Furthermore, Nuance Communications is a far cry from the NSA or advertisers. Still, if the data collection makes you uncomfortable, disable the functionality — or else just be very, very quiet while watching TV.