South Korean electronics company, Samsung, has confirmed that it has the technology to remotely disable its TVs if the company finds out the units have been stolen.
This feature, which is called the “Television Block Function,” was recently activated in South Africa after a number of Samsung TVs were taken from a company warehouse during a wave of protests and unrest last month.
Samsung says it has already pre-loaded the technology on all its TVs, and “ensures that the television sets can only be used by the rightful owners with a valid proof of purchase.”
However, according to Samsung’s description, it is not clear if the feature is only intended to discourage large-scale TV theft, or it will be extended to end-users.
Samsung added that for the security feature to be functional, it would have to add the serial code of the stolen TV to its database.
Then, whenever such TV is connected to the internet, the serial code would be checked against the blacklisted codes. If the codes match, the TV would be disabled.
The company also said that if a TV is blocked in error, the owner can have it unblocked by providing proof of purchase to its email address: email@example.com, and such request would be sorted.
Last month, when some TVs were stolen from a Samsung warehouse in South Africa, Samsung said it was easy to block those TVs because they keep track of the products in their warehouse.