This evening, while you settle down to watch Death In Paradise or Birds Of A Feather, the disturbing reality is that your television set may also be watching and listening to you.
If you own a ‘smart TV’ from South Korean tech giant Samsung, every word you say can be captured by the device and beamed over the internet to Samsung and to any other companies with whom it chooses to share your data.
This ability for the TV to earwig your conversations on the sofa is part of the set’s voice command feature, which enables viewers to tell the TV to change channels rather than use a remote.
Such a feature is typical of many smart TVs, which are to the humble old cathode ray TV set what a jet aircraft is to a propeller plane.
Crucially, smart television sets connect to the internet, from where they can download programmes and films from services such as Netflix or BBC iPlayer. And increasingly, experts are realising that if the internet can be used to bring information into your TV, it can also be used to take it out.
Smart TVs also have a whole range of advanced features, of which voice recognition is one.