Samsung South Africa has announced that it has activated a TV Block Function on all Samsung TV sets stolen during the looting, violence and unrest in parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng during July that saw TV sets stolen from Samsung warehouses.
Samsung has activated TV Block on all Samsung television sets looted from its Cato Ridge distribution centre in KwaZulu-Natal since 11 July.
Samsung's television block technology is already pre-loaded on all Samsung TV products and the company says that all sets taken unlawfully and stolen from Samsung warehouses are being blocked, rendering them useless.
TV Block is a remote, security solution that detects if Samsung TV units have been unduly activated, and ensures that the television sets can only be used by the rightful owners with a valid proof of purchase.
Samsung SA says that 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.
"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," says Mike Van Lier, director of consumer electronics at Samsung South Africa.
"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 Television Block works as follows: A TV blocking system has been activated on Samsung television sets stolen from its warehouse and the blocking comes into effect when the user of a stolen television connects to the internet, in order to operate the television.
Once connected, the serial number of the television is identified on the Samsung server and the blocking system is implemented, disabling all the television functions.
Samsung SA says that should a customer's TV be incorrectly blocked, the functionality can be reinstated once proof of purchase and a valid TV license is shared to email@example.com .
"As an organisation we acknowledge the critical role in giving our customers and clients the 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," says Mike van Lier.