Smart TV, Spy TV. Is that LG Smart TV spying on you?

They are called smart TVs, but they could be doing more than being that smart and intelligent TV in your living room or game room.

A report published on DoctorBeet’s Blog, revealed that the author’s new LG Smart TV was calling home, sending detailed information about the author’s viewing habits to a (remote) LG server and using that information to display targeted ads on the Smart TV’s Smart Landing Screen. LG calls the program Smart Ads.

Isn’t that the same stunt that Canonical has been pulling on Ubuntu users? I think it is, but there’s a big difference here. On Ubuntu, you could easily turn the online search feature off and uninstall one or to packages. End of story, no more ads.

With the LG Smart TV, however, it appears that the homing pigeon feature will still work whether you leave it ON (the default) or turn it OFF (it’s the Collection of watching info option in the screen shot below). Now, that’s pure evil. LG ought to be ashamed. But LG is not bothered by the shame thing. To them, this is serious business. It’s all about advertising. That means money, lots of it. And that’s all that matters.
LG Smart TV Smart Ad

Here’s what the author found out about the LG Smart Ad program:

LG Smart Ad analyses users favourite programs, online behaviour, search keywords and other information to offer relevant ads to target audiences. For example, LG Smart Ad can feature sharp suits to men, or alluring cosmetics and fragrances to women. Furthermore, LG Smart Ad offers useful and various advertising performance reports. That live broadcasting ads cannot. To accurately identify actual advertising effectiveness.

The author wrote a very detailed blog post on his findings. You may read it here. Though this report is about LG Smart TVs, it is also likely that other smart TV vendors are doing the same thing. If you have a smart TV and have free time to spare, hook up your smart TV to the same hub that your computer is connected to (use a switch if it supports port mirroring). Then run Wireshark on the PC to sniff traffic coming from the TV to the outside world.

Related Posts

The best tool for Fantasy Football analytics: Excel or R? In the early days, I used Excel for basic stuff, but I've been playing with R for some fun and funky data crunching. It's a nice tool to know how to u...
Adobe Photoshop now available for Chromebooks, but… In partnership with Google, Adobe is now offering Photoshop, its flagship photo-editing software, on Chromebooks. But, and there is a but, that doe...
Interactive Data Science with R in Apache Zeppelin Notebook The objective of this blog post is to help you get started with Apache Zeppelin notebook for your R data science requirements. Zeppelin is a web-based...
Infotainment systems: The next generation Just thought I share a video about the Parrot ASTEROID Smart, a vehicular infotainment systems device from Parrot, a technology outfit based in Paris,...
Ubuntu Tweak: The first app to install on Ubuntu 13.10 Installing Ubuntu Tweak on Ubuntu 13.10 or any other supported version of Ubuntu gives you a simple utility that makes it very easy to customize diffe...
Using Decision Trees to predict infant birth weights In this article, I will show you how to use decision trees to predict whether the birth weights of infants will be low or not. We will use the birthwt...

We Recommend These Vendors and Free Offers

ContainerizeThis 2016 is a free, 2-day conference for all things containers and big data. Featured, will be presentations and free, hands-on workshops. Learn more at ContainerizeThis.com

Launch an SSD VPS in Europe, USA, Asia & Australia on Vultr's KVM-based Cloud platform starting at $5:00/month (15 GB SSD, 768 MB of RAM).

Deploy an SSD Cloud server in 55 seconds on DigitalOcean. Built for developers and starting at $5:00/month (20 GB SSD, 512 MB of RAM).

Want to become an expert ethical hacker and penetration tester? Request your free video training course of Online Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking

Whether you're new to Linux or are a Linux guru, you can learn a lot more about the Linux kernel by requesting your free ebook of Linux Kernel In A Nutshell.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*