When Smart TVs Are a Little Too Smart: LG Admits to to Gathering More Than it Should Have

Posted on November 25, 2013 4:43 PM by Rob Williams

A Smart TV is named as such because it’s not just used for displaying content; it’s further used to go to the Internet and pull down information. This mechanic has some great value, and it seems like a natural evolution for our TVs. However, with Internet connectivity, there’s always the risk that some information is being sent back to a server that we’re unaware of – or worse, information we’d never willingly give permission to send out.

Case in point: LG’s Smart TVs, which have been milking a little bit more than their owners have been aware of. With a Smart TV, it’s generally expected that information is going to be fetched from the Internet, but it’s not expected that information would get sent to the Internet – or rather, a remote server operated by the TV’s vendor.

LG Smart TV

Last week, it was discovered that select LG Smart TVs scan plugged-in media (eg: USB), and fetches a list of filenames discovered. Own She’s So Busty IV: A New Hope or Gossip.Girl.S01.720p.HDTV.H.264? LG’s servers just might know about it. The problem with a company taking it upon itself to fetch something that in all regards is personal should be clear.

It didn’t take LG too long to fess-up, and while it downplays the severity of its actions, it promises to soon rollout a fix that will allow people to disable the monitoring. What we’d hope is that this update would take it upon itself to disable the feature, because I’m willing to bet that most people are not going to want to be monitored – not in an age where spying is a serious issue.

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