Samsung has revealed that all its TVs come with a “Television Block” system preloaded that can be used to remotely disable them, should it detect that they have been acquired by “unlawful” means. The company says that the feature was activated on TVs that were stolen from its warehouse and from retails in South Africa amidst the looting and violence that ensued the jailing of former President Jacob Zuma last month.
“The aim of the technology is to mitigate against the creation of secondary markets linked to the sale of illegal goods, both in South Africa and beyond its borders,” Samsung said in its statement detailing the TV Block Function.
Samsung says that TV Block will “ensure that the television sets can only be used by the rightful owners with a valid proof of purchase.” The company didn’t specify if individuals will be able to report their stolen Samsung TVs to get them blocked as well.
How does Samsung’s Television Block work?
After a TV connects to the internet, Samsung’s servers can identify if the TV is stolen from its serial number. This implements the TV Block feature which disables all television functions.
Samsung can also remotely lift the block and restore the TV if the customer feels that he has been wrongly penalized and can share a valid proof of purchase. These can be shared at [email protected] and Samsung will try to provide a resolution within the next 48 hours.
“As an organisation, we acknowledge the critical role in giving our customers and clients peace of mind. Working together, we can overcome the impact of the unprecedented disruption to business, as experienced by many of us recently. We will continue to review the situation and will make adjustments as necessary to ensure business continuity for all, “concludes said Mike Van Lier, Director of Consumer Electronics at Samsung South Africa