Using a feature known as TV Block, Samsung has the power to remotely disable any device sold around the world. The information was confirmed by the South Korean manufacturer itself, which has built-in the TV Block feature in its products — technology that has already been used at least once.
In early August, the manufacturer issued a statement stating that it has disabled all televisions that were stolen from its distribution center in Cato Ridge, South Africa. internet after identifying your serial number — in cases where this is done accidentally, the consumer must present proof of purchase to restore the product.
“The aim of the technology is to mitigate the creation of secondary markets linked to the sale of illegal goods, both in South Africa and beyond its borders. The technology is preloaded on all Samsung TV products,” the company said in a note. According to Mike Van Lier, Director of Consumer Electronics at Samsung South Africa, the solution has positive impacts and “will also be useful for the industry and consumers in the future”.
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Solution raises questions
While Samsung points to TV Block technology as a positive, it has also raised some questions about security and privacy. As PC Mag points out, some consumers may feel uncomfortable knowing that their devices could be remotely unusable at a future time.
Did you know.
every #SamsungTV is built with a safeguard against theft … Recent events and the sale of illegal goods have prompted the activation of #TVBlock, our remote solution to ensure Samsung TVs are used by its rightful owners.
— SamsungSA (@SamsungSA) August 6, 2021
There are also risks that the manufacturer is not responsible for the locks: if the company’s systems are compromised, an attacker could use the technology to compromise millions of people around the world. At the moment, the only way to prevent this from happening is to disconnect the televisions from the internet — which makes the smart features, such as streaming platforms, offered by them unusable.
On social networks, the publication made by the company promoting the resource has been criticized, with many consumers claiming that they opted for other brands after learning about the resource. Questioned by Canaltech about the feature, Samsung issued the following statement:
“The sole purpose of the blocking function of Samsung Smart TVs is to mitigate cargo theft and not encourage the illegal market. We want to ensure that TVs are used only by their owners. The function is activated only when there is confirmation of a stolen or illegally obtained device.”
Source: Samsung, PC Mag
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