LG Smart TVs May Spy On Users

In a world where very little is actually private, one would hope that TV privacy settings would not actually spy on people, or then again, maybe not. Well, LG Electronics is now looking into claims that its smart TVs violated user privacy settings and sent data on user viewing habits around the world.

These claims are coming from a technically-minded blogger who says that he has evidence that data packets containing his family's viewing habits were collected by LG. Along with actual TV program information, he says that LG collected the names of his various private video files that were connected to the TV via a USB device.

Violating User Choice

Since Smart TVs are connected to the Internet, they can be powerful tools for marketers or other companies looking to find out information regarding what people are watching and which time slot is most popular. However, many TVs (including LG's) include privacy settings that can be selected to ensure that data will not be collected or shared.

The UK-based blogger who discovered this issue made sure to check off that he wanted his information to remain private. From what he could tell, that decision made no difference to LG. It was as if he had said that it was OK for the company to collect data from his TV.

Using network traffic information, which is readily available to Internet users, the blogger found that anything he watched was recorded and then that data was sent to a specific Web address that appears to belong to LG.

In LG's defense, the URL included in the data collection logs does not seem to be active, which would suggest that the server is not actually storing a person's information. The blogger responded to this fact, stating, "Despite being missing at the moment, this...

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