An unknown number of Samsung televisions were stolen from a delivery centre in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, on July 11. All of those TVs, however, are now unusable due to Samsung’s announcement that they are equipped with remote blocking technology.
Samsung can do this to any of its TVs, regardless of where they are in the world, which may surprise you. In a recent Samsung Newsroom post, the company admitted as much, revealing how the TVs in South Africa were stolen and then disabled.
TV Block is the name of the technology, and it’s “pre-loaded on all Samsung TV devices.” When a TV is verified to be stolen, Samsung records its serial number and waits for it to be linked to the internet. The serial number is examined, and if it’s on the list, “the blocking system is implemented, disabling all television features.”
Samsung South Africa’s Director of Consumer Electronics, Mike Van Lier, explained:
“We will continue to develop and expand strategic products in our consumer electronics division with defence-grade security, purpose-built, and innovative and intuitive business tools designed for a new world, in keeping with our values of leveraging the power of technology to solve societal challenges. This technology has the potential to have a positive impact now, and it will be useful to both the industry and customers in the future.”