This will come as disturbing news for people who have just decided to invest in a smart TV. A blogger called DoctorBeet from the UK has discovered that his LG smart TV has been collecting information about his viewing habits and sending them back to HQ.
The disturbing bit is that the TV hasn’t only been recording what he has been watching and when, it has also been scanning the contents of USB drives that have been connected to the device. DoctorBeet tested this by creating a false video file titled Midget_Porn_2013 and watched as the TV transmitted the file name back to LG’s servers. This still happened despite turning the “Collection of watching info” option off. Meaning that the TV doesn’t care whether or not you want to remain untracked.
All this information was also transmitted over unsecure HTTP traffic. Fortunately, the particular server that the information is being sent to returns a 404 error. But that fails to indicate that it doesn’t exist, or won’t be turned on at some point. This isn’t the first time that digital devices have been caught collecting user data, and it probably won’t be the last.