Buyer Beware: LG Televisions track what you watch, tell advertisers and then make money of it

20/11/2013General, Technology

Comments Off on Buyer Beware: LG Televisions track what you watch, tell advertisers and then make money of it

LG LogoIf you’re buying a television this Christmas or during the obligatory sales you may want to think twice before purchasing an LG Smart TV.

It’s been reported the the South Korean firm tells advertisers what channel you’re watching and watching files are on your USB drive:

  • Tell LG what channel you’re watching and when you change channel
  • Tell LG what files you have on your external hard drive or USB drive
  • Allow advertisers to target you and show “relevant” on YOUR purchased TV

The setting that allows this is to happen is in the Options window of the Menu and it’s switched on by default but what’s even worse this is that it seems that the setting you use to switch this “feature” off, doesn’t actually work!

The blogger who found out this information got in touch with LG Electronics and received this nonchalant response from the helpdesk.

Good Morning

Thank you for your e-mail.

Further to our previous email to yourself, we have escalated the issues you reported to LG’s UK Head Office.

The advice we have been given is that unfortunately as you accepted the Terms and Conditions on your TV, your concerns would be best directed to the retailer. We understand you feel you should have been made aware of these T’s and C’s at the point of sale, and for obvious reasons LG are unable to pass comment on their actions.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause you. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us again.

Kind Regards

Tom
LG Electronics UK Helpdesk
Tel: 0844 847 5454
Fax: 01480 274 000
Email: cic.uk@lge.com
UK: [premium rate number removed] Ireland: 0818 27 6954
Mon-Fri 9am to 8pm Sat 9am-6pm
Sunday 11am – 5pm

 

As some of the commentators point out, uploading viewing habits is not considered personally identifiable information, but sure if the filesnames on your USB drive do contain a name, then it could become identifiable?

Is LG the only one doing this? Probably not but if you value you’re privacy and don’t want to have to see even more ads on a television you’ve already paid for, then you may want to check out the privacy policy and features of your shiny new TV.

Information provided courtesy of DotorBeet’s Blog.