LG Smart TVs collecting user information without permission

LG this week confirmed that its Smart TV sets are collecting information on users' viewing habits even when they have not been authorized to do so.

The South Korean tech company's Smart TVs include a feature that gathers information on what users are watching and sends it back to LG in order to come up with recommendations for other content that they might like.

LG gives users the option of turning the feature off, but LG said it has verified that its TVs continue to collect that information even if users opt out. LG looked into the issue after it was brought to its attention by a tech-savvy user.

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"LG regrets any concerns these reports may have caused and will continue to strive to meet the expectations of all our customers and the public," the company said in a statement. "We hope this update clears up any confusion."

LG said its Smart TVs also transmit names of files that users store on USB flash drives that they plug into the television sets.

The Smart TVs gathered the USB information as well as users' viewing information and transmitted it back to the company. However, LG said it did not retain any of that information on its servers.

"A firmware update is being prepared for immediate rollout that will correct this problem on all affected LG Smart TVs so when this feature is disabled, no data will be transmitted," the company said.

LG did not specify which exact models are affected by this issue.

The problem comes at a touchy time. Since news of the National Security Agency's widespread surveillance broke this year, many users have become wary about letting companies track and store their online information. They probably won't be happy to hear that LG's TVs are tracking them too.


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