This week we learned that Samsung could remotely disable any of its TVs worldwide. The company confirmed the details of its “TV Block” technology after an unknown number of Samsung televisions were stolen from a distribution center located in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
While disabling stolen devices makes sense, you may find it surprising to learn that they can do this anywhere. It looks like any Samsung TV with WiFi or internet, anywhere in the world, can be disabled at a moment’s notice by the manufacturer.
Samsung says the technology is “already pre-loaded on all Samsung TV products” and “ensures that the television sets can only be used by the rightful owners with a valid proof of purchase.” When a TV is confirmed as being stolen, Samsung can log the serial number of the TV. Then, the serial number is automatically checked when any TV connects to the internet (required for setup). If it’s on the list, the “blocking system is implemented, disabling all the television functions.”
This news comes out as Samsung has activated the feature on all of the stolen TVs from South Africa, rendering them useless. However, we’re unsure if this feature is only for large quantities of theft or if it’s something regular consumers can take advantage of.
Either way, it’s neat to see Samsung taking proactive steps to deal with situations such as this. But, at the same time, some owners might not like the idea of Samsung being able to connect to their TV at any given moment.
via The Verge