LG promises firmware upgrade to "fix" TVs spying on viewer actions

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From: LG_care_center@lge.com[LG_care_center@lge.com]
Sent: Friday, November 22, 2013 XX:XX AM
To: [ ]
Subject: LG Customer Email [This email address is used for outgoing mail only]

Thank you for contacting LG customer service!

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:

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 as part of the Smart TV platform to deliver more relevant advertisements and 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.

It has been a pleasure assisting you today! At the bottom, you will be able to see a survey and score your experience with me. Should you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us again via Email, Live Chat or by calling 800-243-0000. Thank you very much for your kindness and patience! Please enjoy the rest of your day and I wish you the best!

Anabel B.

LG Customer Service Toll Free number: 1-800-243-0000 LGEAI | Customer Interactive Center Monday- Sunday

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