The Daily Beast first reported on the provision in a story headlined, "Your Samsung SmartTV is Spying on You, Basically."
LG has since made the feature optional.
Collecting voice data for the SmartTV appears to be intended "to improve the TV's performance" in recognizing and correctly responding to voice commands such as requests for channel changes and particular programs, The Daily Beast reports.
But a privacy activist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Corynne McSherry, told The Daily Beast, "If I were the customer, I might like to know who that third party was, and I’d definitely like to know whether my words were being transmitted in a secure form.”
Samsung issued a statement to The Daily Beast on Friday in response to the uproar assuring people that all SmartTVs employ "industry-standard security safeguards and practices, including data encryption, to secure consumers' personal information and prevent unauthorized collection or use."
A SmartTV owner, Peter Kent, told the BBC that he was "a bit annoyed" at Samsung for putting the information about what gets recorded in an obscure place.
"Nobody reads the terms and conditions," he said.
"It makes me think twice" about using the voice recognition feature, he said.
But privacy activists remain uneasy.
"So it comes with a spooky Orwellian 'feature,' but you don't have to turn it on," Parker Higgins, also of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, wrote on Twitter.
Higgins also offered a side-by-side comparison of the SmartTV' privacy boilerplate with a passage from George Orwell's "1984," that begins, "Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up … "