How #LG's Smart TV Spies on Your Viewing Habits

#Television

Tue, Nov 19th, 2013 21:00 by capnasty NEWS

According to the DoctorBeet's Blog, LG's SmartTVs logs everything you watch, including the filenames of files on your USB devices, as part of a data collection practice for potential advertisers. This feature remains active even after it has been turned it off in the television's settings.

After some investigation, I found a rather creepy corporate video advertising their data collection practices to potential advertisers. It's quite long but a sample of their claims are as follows:

LG Smart Ad analyses users favourite programs, online behaviour, search keywords and other information to offer relevant ads to target audiences. For example, LG Smart Ad can feature sharp suits to men, or alluring cosmetics and fragrances to women.

Furthermore, LG Smart Ad offers useful and various advertising performance reports. That live broadcasting ads cannot. To accurately identify actual advertising effectiveness.

In fact, there is an option in the system settings called "Collection of watching info:" which is set ON by default. This setting requires the user to scroll down to see it and, unlike most other settings, contains no "balloon help" to describe what it does.

At this point, I decided to do some traffic analysis to see what was being sent. It turns out that viewing information appears to be being sent regardless of whether this option is set to On or Off.

The above image is from DoctorBeet's Blog's article titled LG Smart TVs logging USB filenames and viewing info to LG servers .

rambles.renney.me confirms DoctorBeets findings.

Update 11/26: LG patches issue but isn't one tiny bit sorry.

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