Not a great time for LG. The company has been forced to explain why its Smart TVs were collecting viewing information even when owners switched off the privacy-impacting feature, promising a future update that will disable the glitch. Earlier this week we heard reports that records of channel, broadcast source, and TV platform had been transmitted to LG by its sets.
One owner noticed that his Smart TV was relaying his viewing habits even when the “Collection of watching info” option was turned off. He also found that his TV was scanning the names of media files on USB drives that were plugged in, and sending those names too. LG said that they were investigating the issue, but warned that the regional differences between models in different countries meant it could take some time before they had an answer. With spying in the news of late, this is not great news for them.
LG says that the system is supposed to crowdsource viewing recommendations by sharing details of watching habits between Smart TV owners, but it’s suppose to observe the privacy preferences of the setting buried in the menus. What about the USB scanning? Well, the company says that was the first sign of an unannounced feature it was planning to unveil soon. It is meant to pull down media information from the internet based on what the set believes users are watching. I don’t know about you, but it sounds fishy to me. There is no way to know for sure, but it would be easy for LG to simply state that this is a glitch when it fact it was spying on purpose. Well, at least it was caught however it happened.
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