Samsung has revealed its TVs will be remotely disabled if the corporate finds out the models have been stolen. The function is known as the “Tv Block Perform” and Samsung says it was just lately activated in South Africa after plenty of Samsung TVs had been taken from an organization warehouse throughout a wave of protests and unrest final month.
Samsung says the expertise is “already pre-loaded on all Samsung TV merchandise” and “ensures that the tv units can solely be utilized by the rightful homeowners with a sound proof of buy.” For the TV Block Perform to work, Samsung must know serial code of the stolen unit. When the set connects to the web, it checks its serial code towards an inventory on Samsung’s servers, and disables all TV performance if it finds a match.
Blocking the TVs stolen in South Africa was presumably comparatively straightforward. They’d been taken from Samsung’s personal warehouse, the place the corporate could be monitoring its stock. Though it could sound like this function is perhaps used to assist particular person customers whose TVs have been stolen, Samsung says it’s just for use in large-scale thefts.
The corporate informed The Verge: “The only goal of Samsung TV Block is to mitigate cargo theft and unauthorised retail. That is to make sure that the TV merchandise are utilized by homeowners with a sound proof of buy. Samsung TV Block is just activated when there’s a particular, confirmed report of a stolen or unlawfully obtained machine. Shoppers can relaxation assured that this operate doesn’t activate on TVs with a sound proof of buy. Samsung takes client privateness very critically, and our TVs are designed with privateness in thoughts.”
The corporate does say, although, that within the occasion that clients in South Africa have one among their TVs blocked accidentally, they’ll have the block lifted by sending a proof of buy to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Replace Tuesday August thirty first, 10:12AM ET: Up to date with assertion from Samsung.