The changes to the service agreements were noticed by English blogger Jason Huntley, a.k.a. DoctorBeet. Huntley wrote on his blog earlier this month that he became aware of the new policies when he tried to access YouTube on his 10-month-old LG TV.
Huntley posted screenshots of pop-up windows that appeared on his TV, one of which notified him that "Your consent is necessary for us to provide the service. You may need to consent to more than one document to use the service."
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In November 2013, Huntley had discovered that his LG Smart TV was snooping on his home network, uploading his viewing history to LG's servers even after he had disabled the feature in the TV's settings. He noticed that the TV also uploaded the names of personal files stored on memory devices — such as USB sticks — attached to the TV.
The new agreement implies that at least some of the "smart" features that customers paid for when they purchased their Smart TVs may be disabled if the customers do not consent to the collection of their data.
Customers are asked to consent to collection of "viewing information," such as "the name of the channel or program watched, requests to view content, the terms you use to search for content, details of actions taken while viewing (e.g., play, stop, pause, etc.), the duration that content was watched, input method (RF, Component, HDMI) and search queries."
The agreement also covers "basic usage information," such as "information regarding external devices connected to the Smart TV" and "voice information" including "voice commands and associated data." The agreement adds that "if your spoken word includes personal or other sensitive information, such information will be among the Voice Information captured through your use of voice recognition features."
On that website, the "Viewing Information" page states that, "this consent agreement describes what Viewing Information we may obtain from your Smart TV and how we use such information. Unless you consent, you will not be able to access certain Smart TV Services, such as viewing recommendations, searching functionality, our interactive 'Live Plus' service, and our 3D World video-streaming service."
All of this information will be anonymized and used for targeted advertising, the agreements say.
Inquiries seeking comment from LG were not immediately returned.