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LG Smart TV caught phoning home with viewing data, even when disabled

updated 06:58 am EST, Wed November 20, 2013

Channel information, file names on storage passed back to LG

Smart TVs from LG are collecting data on the owner's viewing habits and connected devices, and forwarding the information back to base, according to one customer. It is alleged that the data is also being fed back to LG, even if the customer selects an option in the television's software that supposedly prevents it from doing so.

The collection system was initially spotted by UK blogger DoctorBeet after the TV started to display advertising in its menus. Data sent back includes metadata for the channel being shown whenever the channel was changed, and after loading a USB drive with a uniquely-named file, also found external drive file names being sent as well. The issue is compounded by the fact that the data is unencrypted, potentially allowing anyone access to the customer's viewing habits.

An initial response received by the blogger from LG's support was relatively unhelpful, advising that it has been escalated to LG's UK head office, and that the blame has been shifted to the retailer for not advising the customer on the TV's data collection activities.

by MacNN Staff



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