LG Smart TVs Spying on Users?
Big data is big business. Content producers want to know every single bit of information regarding how their content is being consumed by the end user. The new LG Smart TVs come with the ability to log the details of the users' viewing habits. Not only can they determine the type of content the user is viewing, but they are also able to ascertain how long you view the content for and when you switch channels. Going one step further, the LG Smart TVs also record the filenames of content played from plugged in USB devices.
This information seems to be packaged as part of LG Smart Ad, a service aimed at corporations and advertisers to help them get their ads out to correct market demographic. All LG Smart TVs have the option of turning the "collection of watching info" off. But a little snooping by DoctorBeet has revealed that the viewing info gets logged and transmitted even when the user chooses to opt out of it.
According to his findings, the LG Smart TVs identify themselves with a unique device ID and then proceed to transmit data in unencrypted format every time the channel is changed. Steps to stop the transmission of data by blocking traffic on your router can be found at DoctorBeet's Blog.