Put Your Hands Up
11/20/2013

Ok, everybody who does not like the idea of our devices spying on us, raise your hands. I read an article by Neil McAllister titled “How your LG Smart TV can spy on you” and reading this was the preverbal straw that broke the camel’s back.

I understand the importance and even the necessity of data collection. Most people acknowledge, the more data our service providers and product manufactures have about us the better they can create a more comfortable and personal experience for us to enjoy. However I imagine most folks would want to know what data is being collected, when that data is being collected, why the data is being collected and who will have access to the data.

With that said, I know a lot of folks will be out shopping and consuming this holiday season. Many of us will be looking to purchase new devices big and small. Usually, people want new stuff and the newer and cooler the better. One caveat I offer, do some research about the device(s) and the manufactures before you purchase. Understandably, some of us could really care less about the business practices and business ethics, or lack of business ethics from manufactures and service providers however as our personal data becomes more personal for our enjoyment and comfort and more valuable to advertisers and others for our dollars, how, when, where and why our data is collected becomes more of a real concern.

Reading today, I understand these new smart LG TVs may be silently logging what channels we watch, and when we switch channels and thensending the data back to the South Korean company so it can target us with advertisements. Furthermore, the data is sent over the air unencrypted.

A “Computer enthusiast” named DoctorBeet from the UK is credited for discovering the LG concern.   DoctorBeet realized by analyzing network traffic, information about his viewing habits were being reported back to LG. This was happing regardless of the setting being enabled or not. That’s bad. The TV was also attempting to send information about media files stored on USB connected devices that were plugged into the TV. That’s even worse.

In September 2013, it was reported that LG struck a deal with a media company called Cognitive Networks. This is an advertising company. It is clear that LG has plans moving forward to monetize the collection of our data. Today you may not care a lot about this invasion of our privacy however I think it’s a good idea for us to know that it’s happening. If you have any questions about your new devices and even some of your older gadgets please feel free to contact Danntech. We are always happy to help you and offer assistance and guidance.

 

Thank you,

William Danney

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