LG Responds to Accusations That TVs Are Spying on Users

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Warsaw

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You could do as suggested, or in my mind I will not be buying any LG products as such. We have gotten into such a habit of giving and accepting that our personal information be collected.
 

Darkk

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I went ahead and totally blocked my Smart TV from the internet. The website blocks listed above will work for a short while until LG sends out a new firmware update with different websites. So you can block the websites just don't update the firmware.

Easier for me just block it's access entirely.
 

Darkk

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I am disappointed that LG basically said you're SOL without being told prior to purchase. Why is it retailers responsibility to warn the customers?
 

JD88

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Again, this falls under the "why do I care who knows what I watch on TV?." If I'm going to get ads, might as well be something I'm interested in based on my past behavior. Making a big deal out of nothing.

The people upset about this are the same ones who honestly believe the NSA cares what they do. These companies only care about data mining for your behavior patterns so they can sell you ads, not invading your personal life.

If you wanna be mad about something, be mad about ads being there in the first place.
 

brucek2

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Blaming the retailers?!? Is there any feature of the TV this excuse couldn't be used for? "We're sorry you don't like the picture or sound on your TV, the retailer should have handled those concerns for you."

 

skit75

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@JD88

When I am personally compensated for my data/habits, I may not mind so much. Right now, there is a money train that originated at me, of which I have no reward for, however small it may be.

When Amazon wanted to sell a Kindle with Ads, they gave the end user notice upfront and a discount on the hardware(advertiser subsidized).

Not to mention the browsing/logging of file-names on external drives attached.

 

brucek2

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The NSA may not get a lot of leverage from watching an ordinary person like me, but they can sure get a lot by watching and then extorting every elected official, every judge, every cabinet member, and every CEO as needed for the person in control of the apparatus to get whatever he wants. This is one of the ways a democracy gets undone and/or a totalitarian state maintains itself. J. Edgar Hoover did plenty of all that with a machine a lot less efficient than what the NSA has now.

Further, even if I am an ordinary person today, I may have ambitions of one day being something more than that. It does not seem right to me that my future opportunities might be limited because I one day watched a movie that is considered to appeal to terrorists, contacted a member of the opposition party, attended a particular place of worship, or even just once dialed a wrong number that happened to be two degrees of separation away from someone who really is a terrorist. Which is exactly the sort of automated filtering a system that NSA's can do to someone, without them ever having known what happened to them.

If you're not concerned its not that there isn't a potential problem, its that you haven't read much history and aren't thinking big picture.
 

JD88

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How are you still allowed to post here?

Tell me again why I need to be concerned about file names?

Anything you host on any server from cloud storage to Facebook is going to be visible to that company that maintains those servers. This is nothing new.



You are being compensated by paying a lower retail price for the product.

It's the same model Google, Amazon, and most social media sites use. Provide a free or cheap product/service in exchange for personal information.

Should you be informed in advance? Of course. As I mentioned in my original post, the anger should be toward the presence of the ads, not the privacy concern. This is part of why I don't watch cable TV. Why should I be forced to watch ads when I already pay hundreds of dollars for service?
 

skit75

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I didn't read anywhere in the article that these sets were sold at a discount price due to advertiser subsidies.
 

popatim

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Just assume Everything SMART is spying on you; from your phone to your fridge and act accordingly. Sure its mostly to get ad revenue but what if some tiny bit of info they find now can be used to twist you years down the road. "Well Mr Secretary if you sign this bill then this teen porn collection your tv found 10yrs ago might just not leak out and cost you the election or land you in jail."
Also none of us here would have a file named My bank of america password is.... but every single one of us knows someone who would do that. And who do they come to when they have problems? Hmmm?
 

popatim

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skit75
How are you still allowed to post here?
Because he makes valid points which do not twitch the ban hammer like some of your comments do.

I feel the same way JD does. There's no way the tv was discounted to make up for its spying and neither is my cellphone mind you. If they want to know my habits, pay me for them. If they want me to scan and bag my own groceries, gimme a discount. For the shelf price I can have a cashier do it and not have the headaches associated from the stupid self-service stations.

When you find out google made ten thousand dollars from serving you targeted ads gathered from their services that watch you, dont you think you deserve a piece of that for using their services to begin with?
 

lunix

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@JD88
If you don't get why it's wrong to snoop on your customers without their knowledge, and why it's wrong to not give a f*** when found out, or the fact that this is the environment we live in now...
If you don't get why what the NSA is doing is a disaster waiting to happen...

Then yes, you should go watch TV on your LG and not worry about anything. Don't watch the History Channel, though, you may end up making the connection. Don't do that to yourself, man, they love ya just the way you are.
 

Darkk

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Some of you are missing the point. Privacy is slowing eroding everyday if we don't stand up and do something about it the corporations and government will know every time you flushed the toilet. They are getting into our business without compensation is where I draw the line.

Want to know about me then ask nicely otherwise stay out of my way and out of my business.

 

Achoo22

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I'm truly relieved to see so many right-minded folks posting their displeasure on this matter. It's a failing of our society that ethics haven't caught up to technology, and a failing of our government that law hasn't either. Any device that performs actions that aren't central to its advertised purpose should be both unpopular and illegal. In this case, we intended to buy a television viewing device and not a personalized advertising device. The value and usefulness of the leaked information aren't the issue; the issue is that all personal information should be disseminated only on a need-to-know basis, and LG most certainly doesn't need to know the data they are collecting in order to provide the functionality that consumers expect from the device.
 

banana joe

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Say hello to the Big Brother! He's here! He's everywhere!
I don't know what's worst, the fact that they continuously and indiscriminately spy on us, or the fact that we let them like it was normal. We are so astute we actually willingly give them all our personal information... Facebook, anyone? Rings a bell?
 

Aegean BM

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Some have posted that a filename today may hurt you decades later when you decide to become a CEO, elected official, or similar VIP. I agree, although the scenario need not be so grandiose. Two years from now you may apply for a job and get turned down because the hiring company uses a background checking company that pays for info from info aggregators of whom one source was LG. To make it worse, no one will tell you it was a file in 2013 called Midgets.Gone.Wild.Daytona.mp4. It'll be the usual benign "Sorry, we choose another candidate."

To make it even worse, it wasn't even your file. Your friend brought over a thumb drive to share some TED talks together. You never saw the damaging file. And for the coup de gras, if you had, you would seen your friend's family reunion, complete with cute toddlers in the kiddie pool, throwing sand at the camera, putting sand down the diaper, and of course eating sand.

Please understand that there need not be a conspiracy to take away your freedom or hurt you. Bad things happen because the info collectors never intended to hurt you and you have nothing to hide, so both parties assume nothing bad will happen. What's all the hoopla if you've nothing criminal to hide? Bad things can happen as an un-intended side effect from normal business and government actions.
 

skit75

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@popatim
That wasn't me asking why he is allowed to post here. That was JD88's message that I quoted. Scroll up Moderator ^^
 

S Brideau

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Doesn't Google already do this with Gmail to give ads tailored to your tastes and habits. I don't see that much difference with what LG is doing now with their SmartTVs. I'd still probably block the addresses myself if I had a smartTV, but I still have my older LG LD450 37" TV.
 

Aegean BM

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After many years of marriage and two kids, you're going through a messy divorce. A relative of your soon-to-be-ex spouse works at LG or an info aggregator that subscribes to LG. The relative gives file names to the spouse as ammo. Doesn't even matter if they were your files. You're going to be hurt.

Suppose you say "the files can't hurt you if there's no proof". Sure they can. A babysitter's business can be killed by the mere rumor of abuse to some unspecified children. Interviews with jurors have confirmed little effect from the judge telling them to ignore a comment.

This isn't hypothetical. I know a divorced man who was initially given custody of the child, and later lost all custody to the ex-wife. Only years later, after the child was an adult, did he find out that the ex-wife's sister worked for Child Protective Services and silently worked the system against him, including creating false accusations.

I can hear you say "That's illegal. He can fight that." One, only if you know about it. Two, only if you can prove otherwise. Remember, it's not criminal court where you are assumed innocent. Three, only if you can prove the source of the false information. Four, in this case even if the sister confirmed writing an an accusation, the writing was sufficiently vague enough to condemn, and at the same time provide plausible deniability. For example, accusation: "Father regularly receives pornographic material in the mail and leaves it open and scattered in the living room. Child has full access when father is present and when father is frequently absent. Child engaged with the material." Truth: dad subscribed to Sports Illustrated. Dad took a daily 2 hour nap when he put toddler down for nap. Sometimes toddler woke up first. Dad paid for that mistake twice when toddler tore up his Sports Illustrated.

Here's another example of the damage of not owning your own data. My son was denied a job at 18 because he failed a credit check. In this case the would be hirer did him a favor by telling him the reason. Come to find out an illegal immigrant in El Paso Texas stole my son's social security number when he was 8. The social security office said they don't prosecute SSN theft, and they don't help clear your name with government records or the credit companies. He was just a teenager, a kid; I didn't believe the government wouldn't help clear up an obvious crime. I looked it up on the web. I still have a hard time believing it even with the facts in front of me. To add insult to injury, the credit companies said they wouldn't change the records because they believed the El Paso man to be the rightful owner of the SSN. Wait, that's not all. The social security office my son a hard time when applied for a new number.

Sure, I got a bit tangential from the LG topic, but not horribly so. The main point remains that bad data can hurt you, the bad data doesn't have to be accurate or even yours, you might not be aware of the bad data or the negative impact on your life, and although the system isn't out to get you, an individual with access to your data in the system can cause you hurt.
 

Aegean BM

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@S Brideau: Yes, it's the same as Google. Both are dangerous. Remember that most people are not offended by targeted ads, the stated purpose. It's the un-intended consequences that are to be feared.

In my opinion, LG is worse because
1. Google's targeted ads are well known and obvious. That my TV is spying on me is completely new and non-intuitive.
2. LG didn't inform the smart TV owners. A gazillion page legal acceptance document doesn't count.
3. LG committed fraud knowingly or not when they continued the info gathering after the owner turned the option off.
4. Google targets a logged in user. LG collects from any viewer including the gay couple house sitting while you're off on vacation. LG data now says you're gay too.
5. We don't know that LG is ignoring the data coming in. They could easily be genuinely fraudulent. See my next 404 post.
 

sotoa

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THE BEST answer in the history of this controversy !!!
 

lysinger

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The irony of all of this is that my TV is vacuum tube powered. No HD for me, but low tech has certain advantages. Come to think of it, my car has 4 transistors in it too (1970s Diesel Mercedes) so no CAN AM bus hacking of my car either. Don't worry be retro...
 
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