Are there microwaves that turn into cameras like Kellyanne Conway says? I spoke to manufacturers on livechat to find out
Someone had to investigate
After an appearance on MSNBC this morning, White House advisor Kellyanne Conway gave Americans cause for concern when she described how endemic our surveillance culture is – alleging that there are “microwaves that turn into cameras”.
In the interview, Conway, 50, actually genuinely fucking said: “What I can say is, there are many ways to surveil each other now, unfortunately. There was an article this week that talked about how you can surveil someone – through their phones, through their– certainly through their television sets, any number of different ways, and microwaves that turn into cameras et cetera, so we know that that is just a fact of modern life.”
Terrified at the possibility that a stainless steel kitchen appliance is watching me scratch my nuts while I reheat Indian food, I contacted top microwave manufacturers on livechat to investigate.
Rachana D: Hi, thank you for reaching out to Samsung technical support. How may I assist you?
Matt: Hey Rachana – my name’s Matt.
Matt: Just had a quick question about microwaves.
Rachana D: Hello Matt, please go ahead with the question.
Matt: I was watching the news this morning and one of the President’s advisors said that there were microwaves with cameras in them that can spy on people,
Matt: Is this true? Do Samsung manufacture such microwaves?.
Matt: The exact phrase she used is “microwaves that turn into cameras”.
Rachana D: Not to worry Matt, as of now there is no reported issue with the microwave.
Matt: So there’s no reports of this happening whatsoever?
Rachana D: Absolutely, there are no reports that microwaves having cameras.
Rachana D: To add, Samsung works hard every day to protect consumers’ privacy. We continually monitor for any security risks across our Smart TV platforms and if we find one, we promptly address it. Rest assured, your microwave is safe.
Trey: Hi, welcome to GE Appliances! My name is Trey, I am happy to help you today. One moment please while I review your question.
Trey: What would you like to know about microwave functionality?
Matt: Hey Trey, my name’s Matt.
Matt: I had a quick question regarding whether GE manufacture microwaves that turn into cameras?
Matt: That’s to say, a microwave that can be used to spy on people? One of the President’s advisers said there are reports of such microwaves existing.
Trey: We do not offer a microwave that can turn into a camera.
Matt: OK, thanks Tre.
Tiffany: Hello Matt, my name is Tiffany. How may I assist you today?
Matt: Hey Tiffany.
Matt: I had a question about microwave ovens.
Tiffany: I will be more than happy to assist you, Matt.
Matt: I was watching the news this morning, and one of the President’s advisers described “microwaves that turn into cameras”.
Matt: That’s to say – microwaves that can spy on people.
Matt: Do Frigidaire manufacture such a product?
Tiffany: We do not have any Frigidaire microwaves that have that capability, Matt.
Matt: OK cool.
Tiffany: May I assist you with any additional questions?
Matt: Could a Frigidaire microwave be modified to have that functionality?
Tiffany: As I am not a technician, I am unaware if our microwaves can be modified with this feature.
Aaron: Thank you for contacting KitchenAid! This is Aaron E. in Tennessee. I will be with you momentarily.
Aaron: Hi, Matt. How can I help with your microwave today?
Matt: Hey Aaron.
Matt: I was watching the news this morning, and saw one of the President’s advisors talking about “microwaves that turn into cameras”.
Matt: Do any of your microwaves do this?
Aaron: Oh, goodness! I’ve never heard anything of the sort, so I can assure you it’s safe to say that our microwaves do nothing like that. Is there anything else I can do for you at this time?
Matt: No, that was my main concern.
Matt: I was just worried because she said it, and she’s like in the White House, so you’d assume it had some weight to it.
Aaron: Right, I definitely understand. I’m unaware if there are any other manufacturers that have a microwaves like this, but ours have no video-recording functionality. It has been my pleasure to assist you today.
La Laine: Hello Matt McDonald, how can I help you today?
Matt: Hello La Laine – I’ve got a question about microwaves.
La Laine: Go ahead Matt.
Matt: I was watching the news this morning, and one of the President’s advisors was describing “microwaves that turn into cameras”.
Matt: Like, microwaves that can spy on people.
Matt: Are there any LG microwave ovens that have the capacity to do this?
La Laine: That will be a great product but unfortunately LG is not offering this kind of microwave.
Matt: Do you know if there are any plans to produce one in the future?
La Laine: I honestly do not have any information if they will be offering this kind of unit.
Matt: You’re the fifth person I’ve spoken to today about microwaves, and no-one has heard anything about it.
La Laine: I can take note of this as a suggestion that our engineers can consider for added feature on the microwave that LG will offer.
La Laine: This is the first time I encountered this kind of inquiry.
Matt: How odd.