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Samsung has revealed its TVs might be remotely disabled if the corporate finds out the models have been stolen. The characteristic 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 house owners with a legitimate 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 a listing on Samsung’s servers, and disables all TV performance if it finds a match.

The TV Block characteristic emblem.
Picture: Samsung

Blocking the TVs stolen in South Africa was presumably comparatively straightforward. They’d been taken from Samsung’s personal warehouse, the place the corporate can be monitoring its stock. Though it could sound like this characteristic may be used to assist particular person shoppers whose TVs have been stolen, Samsung says it’s just for use in large-scale thefts.

The corporate advised The Verge: “The only function of Samsung TV Block is to mitigate cargo theft and unauthorised retail. That is to make sure that the TV merchandise are utilized by house owners with a legitimate proof of buy. Samsung TV Block is barely activated when there’s a particular, confirmed report of a stolen or unlawfully obtained system. Customers can relaxation assured that this perform doesn’t activate on TVs with a legitimate proof of buy. Samsung takes client privateness very severely, and our TVs are designed with privateness in thoughts.”

The corporate does say, although, that within the occasion that prospects in South Africa have one in every of their TVs blocked by chance, they’ll have the block lifted by sending a proof of buy to zaservicemanager@samsung.com.

Replace Tuesday August thirty first, 10:12AM ET: Up to date with assertion from Samsung.

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