LG has apologized to customers when admitting that they have collected data on viewing habits of the user without him or her knowing. Jason Huntley discovered the smart TV spying issue and wrote about it on his blog after noticing that his LG Smart TV sending him targeted ads on the Smart landing screen.
What he found was that LG was collecting information about his viewing habits and sending the unencrypted data to their services for profiling customers and targeting the ads. Huntley contacted LG about this and was told that he agreed to terms and conditions at the point of sale and should take it up with the retailer. LG ended up investigating the matter after a lot of media coverage.
“We have verified that even when this function is turned off by the viewers, it continues to transmit viewing information, although the data is not retained by the server,” said LG in a statement. “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.”
Now LG is issuing a firmware update for immediate rollout to correct the problem on all of the affected LG Smart TVs so that when the feature is dialed, data will no longer be transmitted.