Feeds

LG: You can stop hiding from your scary SPY TELLY quite soon now

'Don't worry, we'll switch that off for you real soon'

SANS - Survey on application security programs

South Korean electronics giant LG has confirmed that some of its smart TVs have been logging their owners' viewing habits without their permission and has promised a patch.

Hull, UK–based developer Jason Huntley, aka "DoctorBeet," was first to notice the spying behavior when he analyzed network traffic coming from his LG TV and found that it transmitted the names of TV channels and media files he was watching, even when a data-collection feature was supposedly disabled.

On Thursday, a second blogger tried to replicate Huntley's results and found that his own set was also transmitting the names of media files hosted on his local network.

It's a good thing no one's intercepting everyone's internet traffic, right?

LG has since investigated the matter and has now issued a statement essentially admitting that all of these findings are true – although it doesn't see them in quite the same light as LG smart TV owners are likely to.

The statement, which was obtained by security researcher Graham Cluley, begins with the usual assurances that LG values its customers' privacy and that it is always aiming to improve its smart TV experience. It then goes on to acknowledge that some LG TVs do transmit data about what the viewer is watching, even when that feature is turned off, but it hastens to add that no one should take this personally.

"Information such as channel, TV platform, broadcast source, etc. that is collected by certain LG Smart TVs is not personal but viewing information," the statement explains. The information is collected, it says, in order to provide "more relevant advertisements and to offer recommendations to viewers based on what other LG Smart TV owners are watching."

And the part about the TV scouring the local network in search of media files? That's true, too, LG says – the behavior was implemented for an upcoming feature – but it shouldn't worry anyone, either.

"This feature ... was never fully implemented and no personal data was ever collected or retained," LG's statement says.

LG says it is working on a firmware update for the affected TVs that will stop the transmission of viewing information when that feature is disabled and also remove the network-scanning feature. No date for the patch was given, but LG says it is being prepared "for immediate rollout." ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.