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Television Privacy

Declining LG's New Ad-friendly Privacy Policy Removes Features From Smart TVs 221

BUL2294 (1081735) writes "Techdirt and Consumerist posted articles about a user in the UK who, after a firmware update to his 2-year old LG Smart TV, declined their new Privacy Policy, only to find that most Internet-connected features (e.g. BBC iPlayer, Skype) of the TV now no longer work. From the Techdirt article: 'Does a manufacturer have the right to "brick" certain integral services just because the end user doesn't feel comfortable sharing a bunch of info with LG and other, unnamed third parties? LG certainly feels it has the right to do this. In fact, it makes no secret of this in its long Privacy Policy — a document that spends more time discussing the lack thereof, rather than privacy itself. The opening paragraph makes this perfectly clear.' To add, even declining the policy still results in non-specified information being sent to LG. LG's policy of spying on the viewing habits of customers, along with sending filenames of videos stored on USB devices connected to TVs, was previously discussed on Slashdot."
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Declining LG's New Ad-friendly Privacy Policy Removes Features From Smart TVs

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  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @11:45AM (#47056757) Homepage

    The primary purpose of an internet connected TV is to generate ad revenue and marketing data about you -- or at least in my cynical view it is.

    Basically they've said "if you don't consent to give us this data, we're taking away features". Probably because they can't (or won't) make the services work without it, and it's just easier to cut you off.

    Connected devices have always been a huge privacy hole, and an opportunity to have someone continue to make money off you after they've sold you the TV.

    It's also why my last TV wasn't a "smart" TV. My TV receives inputs from sources, but otherwise is essentially just a monitor with speakers.

    I view this as more or less a predictable outcome of smart TVs, because companies view them as something you're using under license, and will only give you these services if they're getting what they want in return.

  • by putaro ( 235078 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @12:23PM (#47057211) Journal

    Maybe it's time for "corporate jail" - the company's operations get suspended for the time it's in "jail" but it's required to continue paying employees. That might finally start getting their attention.

No extensible language will be universal. -- T. Cheatham