WASHINGTON -- Democratic Sen. Al Franken on Wednesday pressed Samsung and LG to explain how the companies' "smart televisions" voice recognition technology works in light of media reports that the television has the capacity to capture personal conversations.

The Daily Beast reported earlier this week that Samsung smart televisions have a "listening mode" and can record personal conversations. Most worrisome to Franken is the company's privacy policy allows the company to share those conversations with third parties. 

"I'm concerned that Samsung currently does not provide consumers with the information needed to understand how their voice data may be used by third parties," he said, in a statement. "Consumers must be able to make informed decisions about whether and with whom they share that information."

Franken is the highest ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and Law. He is amid a similar battle with Uber, the popular ride-sharing company, regarding how the company may share private rider information with third parties.