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LG's Smart TV watches you: spyware ads report your behavior in creepy detail - Page 2

post #41 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post

Are we sure LG is a SOUTH Korean company not NORTH Korean?

Yes, for two reasons:
1. Trade restrictions exist with NK
2. They just recently got Internet.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #42 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob53 View Post

Ok, I bought a Samsung TV a few years ago and it blacks out regularly. I'll never knowingly buy anything from them again. Now LG, which I thought makes some of the screens/monitors for Apple, is doing things as bad as Google. This means no LG TV. Who's left that we can actually trust to make a large TV that doesn't spy on us? My daughter has a Visio and she likes it. Who makes their components? 

Daniel, I'd like to see something a little different from you. Would you be willing to do the research necessary to document who makes the components for the typical TVs and include a part documenting the spyware each contains? This isn't typical Apple-related, at least not until Apple figures out a way to produce a valid Apple TV product.

note: I signed up for the PBS station on AppleTV yesterday and now my local PBS station has my contact information and probably knows everything I watch. The only way to stop this is to try and cancel my PBS account, which shuts down my ability to watch their shows on-line or through AppleTV. Unfortunately, this looks like the wave of the future but at least with PBS we can control who gets our viewing history.

Does turning off location services for Apple TV stop the tracking but still allow you to watch the channels such as PBS? That begs the question as to why there's location services, and why the default is ON, in the first place. My guess it's for user tracking with regard to advertising but not entirely certain.
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post #43 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

Here is my issue on this whole thing

Since when do we have to agree to T&C on a product like a TV just to buy and use it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

More importantly, know the Terms & Conditions of any service.

What happens if you Decline the T&C? Does the "smart" TV become a dumb TV? Can you use it as a TV at all? Do you get to return it for a full refund?
post #44 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post
 

I just bought an LG 3DTV and it's being delivered on Friday. :|

Just keep it. Buy and support any company but f**ng samdung.

 

Speaking of which, next time, forget about SmartTV. Just get a DumbTV and attach a AppleTV to it. That combination makes your environment called EinsteinTV. ;)

....the lack of properly optimized apps is one of the reasons "why the experience on Android tablets is so crappy".

Tim Cook ~ The Wall Street Journal - February 7, 2014

Inside Google! 

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....the lack of properly optimized apps is one of the reasons "why the experience on Android tablets is so crappy".

Tim Cook ~ The Wall Street Journal - February 7, 2014

Inside Google! 

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post #45 of 77
Crap! I hope my LG washer and dryer aren't reporting back what clothes I'm washing and how often I wash them. Those aren't my bra and panties, I'm just washing them for a friend...really, I swear!

We've always been at war with Eastasia...

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We've always been at war with Eastasia...

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post #46 of 77

Best way to stop it?  Just don't buy/use anything that's "smart".  Unless you're smarter to hack the devices.

post #47 of 77
While I can see their desire for recurring revenue putting ads in "appliances" shouldn't be tolerated. My Panasonic ZT65 also showed ads each time you turned it on until I read how to turn that stuff off.

If you want to sell me stuff you better have continuous added value I use. I don't see that in any of my appliances at this time.
post #48 of 77
Originally Posted by gilroykilroy View Post
While I can see their desire for recurring revenue putting ads in "appliances" shouldn't be tolerated. My Panasonic ZT65 also showed ads each time you turned it on until I read how to turn that stuff off.

If you want to sell me stuff you better have continuous added value I use. I don't see that in any of my appliances at this time.

 

Imagine a microwave that has an LCD in place of the radiation grate in front. It senses what you’ve put in it and throws up ads or coupons for whatever that is.

 

No one wants that nonsense.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

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post #49 of 77
LG makes very nice flat screen TVs. I purchased one of their "dumb" models and it was a good deal. Without the 3D and "Smart" internet "features", it is totally secure.
post #50 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Does turning off location services for Apple TV stop the tracking but still allow you to watch the channels such as PBS? That begs the question as to why there's location services, and why the default is ON, in the first place. My guess it's for user tracking with regard to advertising but not entirely certain.

Nice FUD. But I prefer FACTS. Paragraph 4 (b) and (c) states and I quote:

(b) Location Data. Apple and its partners and licensees may provide certain services through your Apple TV that rely upon location information. To provide and improve these services,
where available, Apple and its partners and licensees may transmit, collect, maintain, process and use your location data, including the real-time geographic location of your Apple TV, and location search queries. The location data and queries collected by Apple are collected in a form that does not personally identify you and may be used by Apple and
its partners and licensees to provide and improve location- based products and services. By using any location-based services on your Apple TV, you agree and consent to Apple’s and its partners’ and licensees’ transmission, collection, maintenance, processing and use of your location data and queries to provide and improve such products and services. You may withdraw this consent at any time by disabling
the location-based features in the Apple TV. Not using these location features will not impact the non location-based functionality of your Apple TV.
When using third party applications or services on the Apple TV that use or provide location data, you are subject to and should review such third party’s terms and privacy policy on use of location data by such third party applications or services.
(c) At all times your information will be treated in accordance with Apple’s Privacy Policy, which is incorporated by reference into this License and can be viewed at: www.apple.com/legal/privacy/.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #51 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Nice FUD. But I prefer FACTS. Paragraph 4 (b) and (c) states and I quote:

Yup I had already read it in it's entirety which is why I asked the question "What purpose does location services on an Apple TV serve"? It's not moving from place to place. What's the downside to disabling location on an Apple TV? Does it disable certain stations (example PBS) if it''s turned off? Does it affect ads at all and what is a "location search query"? Would searching thru channels be one example?

I agree facts would be great in assisting users with deciding whether to enable/disable the feature. I'm guessing from your reply that you may know the answers.
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post #52 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Lowney View Post

Gaming this system in order to skew results has probably already begun. It should be a simple matter to send contrived data to LG so that its reports show a given product, politician or idea is wildly popular when, in fact, it is not.

since the stream is unencrypted I'm guessing that spoofing this would be easy and fun!

you could present the Nielsen ratings from 1963 as being from 2013.

can't imagine paying advertisers are going to be happy when they realize how slipshod and bogus the Lucky Gold Star Ad Network really is.

Hope they didn't pay too much for those ads...
post #53 of 77
I believe the UK and Australian governments recently advised all depts to refrain from using any Huawei equipment as it is alleged to send all user behaviour data to servers in China. They make Routers, Youview TV boxes and parts of the exchange equipment used by telecoms companies. Together with the NSA, GCHQ and the like of LG, Google, MS and Apple these commercial and governmental bodies are watching our every move mm by mm bit by bit. Scary, really scary Mr. Orwell.
post #54 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Yup I had already read it in it's entirety which is why I asked the question "What purpose does location services on an Apple TV serve"? It's not moving from place to place. What's the downside to disabling location on an Apple TV? Does it disable certain stations (example PBS) if it''s turned off? Does it affect ads at all and what is a "location search query"? Would searching thru channels be one example?

I agree facts would be great in assisting users with deciding whether to enable/disable the feature. I'm guessing from your reply that you may know the answers.

1. Use of location services are not mandatory for viewing content.
2. Each "app" asks you to opt-in the first time it tries to access the OS location APIs. It remembers your answer.
3. If you decline to enable location services for an app, the app will not prevent you from viewing content.
4. The exact functionality change depends on each app, for example, the Netflix app does not show "popular titles in (your area)". Or the Movie Trailers app will omit show times for a currently playing movie in your area, but you can still watch the movie trailers. I don't know about the PBS app because I haven't tried it, but none of the other apps on AppleTV turn off content based on location.
5. "Location search query" refers to any query you make for a location. For example, in the Movie Trailers app, you can find show times for movies by postal code, or to simply use your current location.
6. I don't know if it affects ads because I've never seen ads in any of the AppleTV apps. Not even the YouTube app. Technically, movie trailers are ads, but within the context of the movie trailers app, they are content.
7. You can disable location tracking globally in the settings app.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #55 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

1. Use of location services...

Thanks for the detailed answer! No doubt a few here will find it useful.
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post #56 of 77
I don't want any of fucking web advertisements on any of fucking TVs!! This is for the fucking PC or web browsers!!

Please excuse my lame English grammar. American Sign Language is my first language and English's the second.
Tallest Skill, you can edit my English grammar for me. My English grammar sucks! lol

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Please excuse my lame English grammar. American Sign Language is my first language and English's the second.
Tallest Skill, you can edit my English grammar for me. My English grammar sucks! lol

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post #57 of 77

I'm so done feeding the "Ad Animal". I cancelled Hulu+ immediately after signing up for it (not realizing at the time that subscribing only "unlocks more content", it doesn't remove the ads). Netflix is winning, and that's a big reason why. Same price for subscription, and it's ad-free.

 

If I unboxed a new TV and the first thing I saw on the "home screen" was banner ads I couldn't do away with (short of sandboxing the TV from the internet), I'd be taking it straight back to the store. No way. Seriously.

 

Top that off with a data-pull "feature" that can't actually be turned off? They can't be serious! Yeah. I'd be considering "lawsuit" if MY kid's names were being sent in the clear after I told the TV "don't send data".

 

And LG's attitude in response (using that weird, generic corporate-speak) is the worst example of passing the buck I've seen in a good while. No, they really need to be taken to task on this one. Them, Samsung, and Google all need a little smack down, IMO.

 

Best way for that to happen is for everyone to just stop buying their products, or using their services, until they straighten up.

 

They're not that hard to live without either, once you just do it.

post #58 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

This is why TVs should be as stupid as possible. Let the little box connected to them manage everything. At least you can trust it.

I totally agree.
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post #59 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Does turning off location services for Apple TV stop the tracking but still allow you to watch the channels such as PBS? That begs the question as to why there's location services, and why the default is ON, in the first place. My guess it's for user tracking with regard to advertising but not entirely certain.

Turning off location services could render a channel like Aereo useless. Aereo has to make sure that it's clients are within the broadcast networks' footprint before it'll allow viewing of it's service.
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post #60 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by lukefrench View Post

 

Worse for LG, if the stolen datas are moved out of EU, they could face a complete ban of operations in EU.

Heh heh. I see what you're saying here, but recent events -- e.g., Merkel being tracked -- would seem to suggest that the EU is just a lot of hot air, and completely toothless, on this issue, no?

 

Or perhaps, they can bully S. Korea to compliance more than they can the US.

post #61 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


Turning off location services could render a channel like Aereo useless. Aereo has to make sure that it's clients are within the broadcast networks' footprint before it'll allow viewing of it's service.

 

Actually, in that case they can probably get enough detail for a 'general vicinity' from the IP address you're connected from. For that kind of restricted licensing, the IP is usually enough to identify the ok/not ok boundaries.

 

IP location is typically accurate enough for that, but not typically accurate enough to even know what street you're on, much less your actual physical location.

post #62 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by tribalogical View Post

Actually, in that case they can probably get enough detail for a 'general vicinity' from the IP address you're connected from. For that kind of restricted licensing, the IP is usually enough to identify the ok/not ok boundaries.

IP location is typically accurate enough for that, but not typically accurate enough to even know what street you're on, much less your actual physical location.

While you're correct an IP address can be spoofed.
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"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #63 of 77
Well as a guy in the market for a new flat screen TV, LG just lost my consideration. I guess I have a lot of research to do now to figure out a configuration of either a smart TV or Roku type device add on to minimize the spying. Granted, I'm probably being spied on now using ATT Uverse, but I'm about to cut the cord.
post #64 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawrance View Post

Well as a guy in the market for a new flat screen TV, LG just lost my consideration. I guess I have a lot of research to do now to figure out a configuration of either a smart TV or Roku type device add on to minimize the spying. Granted, I'm probably being spied on now using ATT Uverse, but I'm about to cut the cord.

2 words, Panasonic plasma.
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post #65 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawrance View Post

Well as a guy in the market for a new flat screen TV, LG just lost my consideration. I guess I have a lot of research to do now to figure out a configuration of either a smart TV or Roku type device add on to minimize the spying. Granted, I'm probably being spied on now using ATT Uverse, but I'm about to cut the cord.

Good for you, cut the cord. And be smart as well; don't buy a smart TV. Actually, there aren't any smart ones out there. In this case, the dumber the better.
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post #66 of 77

The problem with avoiding the smart TVs is you can't if you want certain features. Want 3 HDMI inputs,120Hz refresh, and local dimming? The high-end smart TV has it, but they don't make a dumb TV with the same features. Or, retailers don't carry the high-end dumb TV, they only carry certain price & feature points. So high-end picture = smart TV.

 

And then you get to manufacturing costs. It's probably cheaper for the manufacturer to put the "smart" hardware in every TV than it is to have different production lines for smart & dumb variants.

 

Then you have the same issue you have with smart phones. The hardware manufacturer has no incentive to upgrade the software once they've sold the device. Now you end up with the new model having the new version of Netflix (or whatever) but the model from a year ago will never get a software update. I have this now with a Panasonic Blu-Ray player I bought a few years ago. The Netflix app is woefully outdated, but there's no update even though new players have newer software.

 

It's best to keep the software on a device where the maker has an incentive to keep it up to date, that is, they make money off content. Apple TV fits that bill pretty well.

 

I'd like to see this sort of WireShark test done on all "smart" devices. 

 

- Jasen.

post #67 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Easy fix. Don't connect the TV to the internet, ever. Seriously, what do you lose? Browsing the internet? Who does that?

You lose software updates and the ability to listen to Pandora, watch Hulu, Netflix, Amazon and other such services on your TV, although you can use external devices to accomplish the same thing, but that raises the same issues.   

 

We need a law that stops hardware manufacturers from collecting any data whatsoever without explicit permission.  

 

But there's much bigger issues than the sets reporting back to the manufacturer what you're watching.   The first, is that some sets are dependent on that feed working properly if the net is connected to the TV.   Sony has had problems lately with sets rebooting on their own if there's a data problem even if you're not watching net-based programming at the time.

 

The bigger issue is that this is just the first wave of so-called "smart sets".   The next wave includes TV cameras built into the sets.   This is not just for Skype, but for the set to recognize who is in the room and watching TV so that web-based (and possibly cable-based) advertising can be completely customized for each TV watcher.     The TV manufacturers don't make any money selling TVs, but they can potentially make lots of money selling such data.   Of course, both the privacy issues and the potential hacking issues are quite frightening, but that's where we're headed.    Second screen applications already "listen" to TV (and room) audio to keep the app in sync with the broadcast.      

post #68 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


2 words, Panasonic plasma.

How does this help?  Panasonic's plasma sets are also connected sets.    And Panasonic will no longer be manufacturing them after the end of this year.   There will be no successors to the current model plasma sets, such as the VT60, ZT60, etc.       

post #69 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasenj1 View Post

The problem with avoiding the smart TVs is you can't if you want certain features. Want 3 HDMI inputs,120Hz refresh, and local dimming?

Get a B&O. You won't regret it. No crap software, no software crap. No smart whatsoever, it just works. There's even a model that takes your AppleTV behind the panel and control it all with the B&O remote.



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post #70 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

How does this help?  Panasonic's plasma sets are also connected sets.    And Panasonic will no longer be manufacturing them after the end of this year.   There will be no successors to the current model plasma sets, such as the VT60, ZT60, etc.       

They're connected but not really a 'Smart TV'
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post #71 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Easy fix. Don't connect the TV to the internet, ever. Seriously, what do you lose? Browsing the internet? Who does that?
You lose software updates and the ability to listen to Pandora, watch Hulu, Netflix, Amazon and other such services on your TV, although you can use external devices to accomplish the same thing, but that raises the same issues.   

We need a law that stops hardware manufacturers from collecting any data whatsoever without explicit permission.  

But there's much bigger issues than the sets reporting back to the manufacturer what you're watching.   The first, is that some sets are dependent on that feed working properly if the net is connected to the TV.   Sony has had problems lately with sets rebooting on their own if there's a data problem even if you're not watching net-based programming at the time.

The bigger issue is that this is just the first wave of so-called "smart sets".   The next wave includes TV cameras built into the sets.   This is not just for Skype, but for the set to recognize who is in the room and watching TV so that web-based (and possibly cable-based) advertising can be completely customized for each TV watcher.     The TV manufacturers don't make any money selling TVs, but they can potentially make lots of money selling such data.   Of course, both the privacy issues and the potential hacking issues are quite frightening, but that's where we're headed.    Second screen applications already "listen" to TV (and room) audio to keep the app in sync with the broadcast.      

Well, since I don't live in the US, and since I already have an advertising-free Apple TV, I'm all set.

One thing about LG that is vastly superior is the passive 3D, which is why I chose LG in the first place.
post #72 of 77
Would the Apple TV be a device to make your TV smarter?
post #73 of 77
Originally Posted by brianmelon View Post
Would the Apple TV be a device to make your TV smarter?

 

I’d say ‘smart’ in the first place, regardless of the software that’s on it.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply
post #74 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

This is why TVs should be as stupid as possible. Let the little box connected to them manage everything. At least you can trust it.

Wow, this is a first.. A non aggressive non member slating comment & one that I actually agree with!!!

 

I was showing some interest in my smart tv (yes, its a samsung) until sky sent me their little wireless on demand box.  Now for viewing purposes I don't see the point of even looking at the smart tv standard options of netflix etc. so i'm back to using the tv as it was intended - plugging / streaming stuff to it & watching it.

post #75 of 77

There's been an official reply from LG stating that they will release a firmware update that will resolve the issue.

 

http://grahamcluley.com/2013/11/lg-firmware-update-spy-tv/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=lg-firmware-update-spy-tv

 

By the way, I can't find any settings on my TV to turn off the reporting feature.

post #76 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

There's been an official reply from LG stating that they will release a firmware update that will resolve the issue.

http://grahamcluley.com/2013/11/lg-firmware-update-spy-tv/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=lg-firmware-update-spy-tv

By the way, I can't find any settings on my TV to turn off the reporting feature.

Read the comments below that linked article. The fifth one is interesting:

"today my tv upgraded to new software version; in this new
so called fix they have done two things. 1. option to collect info
in main menu has gone. 2. new service agreement forced on user,
where he/she agrees to give personal information this information
can be shared with thirdparty and sent to south korea. if i dont
agree to this agreement, my tv is just dumb tv, none of the options
work. is that they call fix ? looks like lawyers fixed this
problems than the RD team.”


So, LG’s “update to fix the issue” is essentially, “We’re taking away the OPTION to turn off the data collection, and making the “smart features” dependent on acceptance of new terms, which simply allow that collection by default.”?

If this turns out to be true, I won’t need to be reminded to never buy another LG product again. Ever.

They just joined my short, but illustrious list of boycotted consumer goods companies:

- Mitsubishi Corporation (a permanent, blanket boycott over their ongoing ‘earth rape')
- Samsung Corporation
- and now, LG
post #77 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by tribalogical View Post


They just joined my short, but illustrious list of boycotted consumer goods companies:

- Mitsubishi Corporation (a permanent, blanket boycott over their ongoing ‘earth rape')
- Samsung Corporation
- and now, LG

That is indeed not a fix, but an all or nothing. Screw LG.

Doesn't Google also sell consumer goods? You might want to stick it to them as well.
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