LG updates TVs to keep them from spying on consumers


LG is still dealing with the backlash from customers who discovered that their television set was “spying” on them even though they set up privacy settings on their television. LG promises an update on the television to keep the collection from happening again.

Jason Huntly, the UK-based IT consultant that originally brought the issue to light, stated that LG was making a positive step forward.

LG promises that no personal information was collected during their survey. The only thing the television collected and transmitted to LG was viewing information. The viewing information is then used to deliver programming recommendations and relevant advertising.

LG released a statement saying, “We have verified that even when this function is turned off by viewers, it continues to transmit viewing information, although the data is not retained by the server. A firmware updated is being prepared for immediate rollout that will correct this problem on all affected LG Smart TVs so when this feature is disabled, no data will be transmitted.”

LG is far from the only electronics manufacture that has been discovered to transmit data on what users view. Sony’s PlayStation transmit information about each Blu-ray that is played.

LG wants consumers to know that “This information is collected as part of the Smart TV platform to deliver more relevant advertisements and to offer recommendations to viewers based on what other LG Smart TV owners are watching.”

The company stresses that no personal information is ever obtained.

[via BBC]

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  • Fred

    Mary – You’re right!
    We’ve sadly grown to accommodate this kind of intrusiveness as a matter of course…. to the point where we’re surprised when it’s absent…

  • Mary

    [@Mike S.]
    I never had TiVo, but I remember when Cable TV first came out. It was supposed to be commercial free! O.o

    Now I’m showing my age! haha

  • Mike S.

    [@Mary] I remember when TiVo brought out limited ads on its devices. Here I pay a subscription fee, and then get ads. Granted, they’re small, but I cringe each time I see them.

  • Mary

    What if I don’t want any advertisements? Huh? None, nada, zip, zero, zilch…..
    It’s a TV for crying out loud. We have enough ads on them. Too many actually, and I don’t need a TV telling me what is relevant to me. I already know! Pfft. This technology is getting way out of hand. I Don’t want ads! I want good programs to watch, which, I will scroll through the channel guide to find myself! :P

    I am going to boycott all the ads I get (anywhere) so the advertisers and “pushers” get the message. My wallet, my money. Without it, they loose.

    Just leave me and my soul alone ffs.


    I know, I’m in a rare mood! lol

  • Virtualguy

    [@Seamus McSeamus]

    I completely agree. I’m glad I don’t own one of LG’s TV’s, and based on what I’ve learned today, I will probably never own one. If I ever had any confidence in LG products, what little I had is now gone. Further, I don’t like it when any entity presumes to determine what my interests are and what might or might not be relevant to my interests. I absolutely loath the kind of “interest snooping” this blog speaks of. I detest it in the worst way. I and I alone will decide what my interests are, and it is none of anyone else’s business until I say it is.

  • Seamus McSeamus

    “This information is collected as part of the Smart TV platform to deliver more relevant advertisements and to offer recommendations to viewers based on what other LG Smart TV owners are watching.”

    First of all, I don’t need recommendations on what to watch. I’m perfectly capable of pulling up the menu to see what’s on for myself.

    As to “relevant advertisements”, how exactly does knowing what programs are being watched help with this? If I watch a lot of sports do I start seeing a glut of commercials for sports drinks and athletic apparel? What happens if I watch nothing but reruns of The Andy Griffith Show, Bonanza and Perry Mason for a week? Geritol ads and Henry Winkler trying to con people into taking out a reverse mortgage on their homes?