South Korean electronics company LG is investigating a claim its TV sets are collecting data about the user’s viewing habits and sending them to the company without consent.
The claim was raised by a British blogger DoctorBeet, who decided to examine LG’s practices after seeing a corporate video used by the company to attract advertisers.
After analysing network traffic, he discovered the TV set is sending information despite the fact he had previously disabled the ‘Collection of watching info’ option in the TV’s menu.
Through a series of screenshots, he explains on his blog how the TV set seems to be sending information including the device’s unique ID every time the user changes channel. Moreover, he says, the data is transmitted to LG unencrypted.
Examining the packet data, he noticed that among files posted to LG’s servers were many with identical filenames as those he once stored on his external USB hard drive and watched using the LG TV set.
“My wife was shocked to see our children's names being transmitted in the name of a Christmas video file that we had watched from USB,” DoctorBeet wrote.
LG, the world's second-largest TV maker, refused to comment on the issue and reassured customer privacy was its top priority.