Samsung remotely disables  TVs stolen in South Africa during unrest in July

Samsung remotely disables  TVs stolen in South Africa during unrest in July

Samsung remotely disables  TVs stolen in South Africa during unrest in July

Samsung remotely disables TVs looted in South Africa

Electronics giant Samsung has “blocked” TVs that were stolen in South Africa during the unrest in July, rendering them unusable.

The company says it has an inbuilt “block function” on its TVs that can be used to remotely disable the sets.

The function is activated when a user of a stolen TV or one that has been acquired unlawfully connects to the internet, according to Samsung.

The system checks the identified TV’s serial number against the list on its servers before disabling its functionality.

South Africa had weeks of violent protests and looting last month that left more than 300 people dead and property worth billions of rands ransacked.


The ability to remotely disable TV function has received some praise among online users for its potential use to deter crime, with some also noting its potential for abuse.

One person noted that Samsung was taking “electronic revenge” on looters of its TV sets while another said it was more reason “never to connect a TV set to the internet”. – BBC

Samsung has revealed that even its TVs can be remotely disabled, similar to its smartphones and tablets. The Television Block Function that is built into its TVs can be activated if the company finds out that the unit is stolen or unlawfully acquired by a user. Recently, a bunch of TVs were stolen from Samsung’s warehouses and retailers in South Africa during the unrest and riots.

The Television Block Function is pre-loaded on all Samsung TVs that can connect to the internet. The South Korean firm has mentioned that it has activated the feature on all the TVs that were stolen in South Africa, and such TV units will be disabled as soon as they are connected to the internet. The company is also planning to use this feature in other markets if the need arises.

Mike Van Lier, Director of Consumer Electronics at Samsung South Africa, said, “In keeping with our values to leverage the power of technology to resolve societal challenges, we will continuously develop and expand strategic products in our consumer electronics division with defence-grade security, purpose-built, with innovative and intuitive business tools designed for a new world. This technology can have a positive impact at this time, and will also be of use to both the industry and customers in the future.”

Samsung said that it can easily cross-check the serial numbers of TVs that are stolen and upload them on its servers. As soon as stolen TVs are connected to the internet, they are disabled and can only be enabled after the users submit their proof of purchase.




Related Posts