If It Itches Don’t Scratch It – Your TV’s Watching

Best to resist the temptation to scratch that itchy place as you watch your favourite show on the box. What you get up to in front of your Smart TV may not be as private as you think.

According to a UK blogger, his LG Smart TV has a nasty habit of sending back unencrypted data and in the clear, to LG every time he changes channel.

Not that switching off “Collection of watching info” (it’s set ON by default) in his settings did much good as his viewing data was still being sent back to LG’s servers in a highly insecure fashion.

Go to the company web site and they boast “LG Smart AD provides the express way for advertisers to engage with targeted audiences through multi device screens in global scale and in the most effective and innovative fashion.” i.e. targeted advertising.

On the face of it it would seem that LG are in breach of the UK’s strict UK Data Protection Act?  One wonders how other countries are faring and if they are even aware of the nature of this risky data flow from their personal appliances.

According to a BBC report the blogger, Mr Huntley, “suggested that even if LG had never inspected the data, it could still pose a security risk as hackers could take advantage of the practice”.

Buying a new television doesn’t mean by default that you have agreed to be spied upon and neither it should.

With the Internet of Things upon us perhaps the best advice to give is ‘better watch what you say to your toaster’!

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About thedigitalconsultant

Roger Smith is an international, digital consultant and former British Council Director of Online Operations within the East Asia region. http://thedigitalconsultant.blogspot.com
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