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LG is watching you!

LGSpyWell For a very long time, TV sets were nothing more than an image
projector. Since TV sets nowadays have a computer built-in so they can
display entire online content and smart innovations like image
improvement, their abilities can reach far beyond your imagination…

In times where users get concerned about privacy and internet spying, they try to avoid everything that could possibly drag private information to the public. Exactly this is where LG recently got into criticism.

A private user has found out that his TV set from LG was sending lots of information about his zapping behavior and also what he’s playing back from local USB media.

Funny thing that a prepared file named like a porno also went into LG’s data collection pool in south korea – UNENCRYPTED that is!

LG rectifies this and says that the user acknowledges this by agreeing to the bound EULA tied to the TV and it’s smart conents. Now if there was only an option to turn that off… and don’t be surprised: There IS an option to turn off the broadcast of private usage statistics information being sent to LG. The only thing is that this option absolutely has NO effect, if activated. What a blow-off!

LG-Privacy settingYou can turn it off as you wish but I still keep sending your statistics…

So even with the Collection of watching info turned off, the TV set still keeps informing big brother… pardon… big LG in south korea about your preferred shows. They say, the statistics are gathered to tailor the ads that can be displayed in the smart conent section of the TV. So when you open your browser on the TV, then it may redirect you instantly to a porn site instead of i.e. Google. Great stuff, especially, when kids are using the TV set also. And I bet, the wife wouldn’t be too happy about that, too!

So is there ANY way to block the TV from sending all the information out about you? A possible workaround could be the blockage of the following URLs at router level:

  • yumenetworks.com
  • smartclip.net
  • smartclip.com
  • llnwd.net
  • smartshare.lgtvsdp.com
  • ibis.lgappstv.com

And what else is being sent?

Not only the TV sender list and shows you’re watching, the entire content list (file system) of your attached USB storage is sent to LG. So you’d better not have any unsuitable content stored on that!

Well… how long might it take to bring Minority report to reality? Imagine this: an innocent guy plugs in a USB stick from a friend where (in deeply hidden folders) child pornography is stored? May the TV set then automatically call the police to have you arrested as the TV set may guess that you like child pornography?

Of course this is only a made-up scenario but I guess you get the idea…

This is only one of the things that could be brought to reality. The other things might be: personalized ads. Suggested orders (like you’re watching a pizza ad and the TV automatically wants you order a pizza then?

Or you watch a porn image and the TV instantly puts porn tv shows into your favorites lists while subscribing you to a yearly subscription of Playboy?

The possibilities are vast in number but one thing is for sure: LG – count me out because such privacy breach is none of your concern! Until you still insist on using this technique and offer absolutely NO option to turn that off (yes, LG, there ARE people who can still decide theirselves of what to buy or like!) then none of your devies are one of my selection. I am dazzled to see if someone will unveil the traffic, Samsung TV sets are causing with their SmartHUB functions…

Orwell was right… I guess!

© Copyright 2013 Netspark, All rights Reserved. Written For: Netspark's Blog
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November 20, 2013 Netspark - 966 posts - Member since: May 9th, 2011 No Comments »

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