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LG Smart TVs May Log Activity Even with Data Collection Disabled

by Jacob Kleinman | November 21, 2013November 21, 2013 10:30 am PST

LG Smart TV

LG is under fire this week after a report surfaced that the company’s smart TVs logs its users’ viewing habits for advertising purposes even when data collection is turned off in the settings menu. The report comes from DoctorBeet’s Blog, where one user details his experiences looking into LG’s data collection habits and the troubling information he uncovered.

Basically, LG’s smart TVs track everything you watch and relay the information back to the company, apparently in an unencrypted file. DoctorBeet also discovered that his TV was logging not just the content he streamed but also anything he watched using an external USB. Most shocking is the blogger’s claim that LG kept on tracking his viewing habits even after he went into the menu and turned off the data collection setting.

DoctorBeet contacted LG directly and received a response essentially confirming his own findings. A representative for the South Korean company notes that by accepting the TV’s Terms and Condition’s he’s essentially signed away his rights to any sort of privacy while using the device. LG also notes that “for obvious reasons” it can’t comment on the specific activities it’s being accused of, and directs any further concerns towards the user’s specific retailer.

For now it looks like that’s the end of the story. LG will likely continue to log user viewing habits in an effort to bolster ad sales, though we’ll report back if there are any significant updates. If you value your privacy you may want to consider a different company’s smart TV, though there’s no guarantee that any other device won’t do the exact same thing as LG’s.

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...