A recent report had unveiled how LG Smart TVs log customers’ personal data including the channel they watch and USB data that they connect to LG Smart TVs.
Today, LG sent us a clarification on the issue and said company is immediately rolling out a firmware upgrade that will fix the problem.
Below is the complete statement:
At LG, we are always aiming to improve our Smart TV experience.
Recently, it has been brought to our attention that there is an issue related to viewing information allegedly being gathered without consent.
Our customers’ privacy is very important part of the Smart TV experience so we began an immediate investigation into these claims.
Here’s what we found:
LG does not, or has ever, engaged in targeted advertisement using information collected from LG Smart TV owners.
Information such as channel, TV platform, broadcast source, etc. that is collected by certain LG Smart TVs is not personal but viewing information. This information is collected to offer recommendations to viewers based on what other LG Smart TV owners are watching.
We have verified that even when this function is turned off by the viewers, it continues to transmit viewing information although the data is not retained by the server.
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.
It has also been reported that the names of media files stored on external drives such as USB flash devices are being collected by LG Smart TVs. While the file names are not stored, the transmission of such file names was part of a new feature being readied to search for data from the internet (metadata) related to the program being watched in order to deliver a better viewing experience.
This feature, however, was never fully implemented and no personal data was ever collected or retained. This feature will also be removed from affected LG Smart TVs with the firmware update.
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. We hope this update clears up any confusion.