“Your phone reports where you’ve been and who you know. Your TV reports what you watch. Next will be your refrigerator reporting on what food you eat.”J. Brandt
On Thursday, South Korean Electronics Giant LG confirmed that smart TVs track what users are watching, what they are doing in general, even if they have chosen the option to deactivate this tracking.
What do Smart TVs Spy on?
This included the following data:
- Tracking the duration of viewing the specific channel
- Collecting all names of the files that are stored on USB jump drives once connected
- Network shares- to provide relevant ads and recommendations based on what Other users of Smart TV from LG are watching right now
This information was provided by LG via email to Security researcher Graham Cluley.
LG agreed and promised to come up with the firmware update to respect users’ preferences. It promised to eliminate the feature that collects names of files that are stored on the USB jump drives. “This feature, however, was never fully implemented and no personal data was ever collected or retained,” said LG. “This feature will also be removed from affected LG Smart TVs with the firmware update.”
Even though the Electronic Giant promised to push the firmware upgrade soon – consumers will probably not be wiser in terms of their viewing habits, or how they can stop being tracked. Moreover, in order to find the update – you will have to manually search for the firmware update in (menu >> network>> software updates) once they are available. On top of that – TV set must be connected to the internet via an Ethernet cable, due to the fact that Wireless connection are not reliable for the firmware updates, according to LG.