2018-03-07

LG and privacy

I tweeted LG, and no reply.


But I also sent a support email request like this:-

I noted during installation of my new OLED65W7V that there is a point you are expected to agree to terms and conditions, and consent to processing various personal data.

In this instance, as he was helping me install it, my son clicked "agree", so I have no contract with LG, have not agreed any terms and are not bound by any terms and have not consented to any processing of personal information.

1. Given that GDPR will be law soon, how will you be changing the terms and these pages so that any consent is "freely given", i.e. not "in exchange for using some smart TV features" exactly?

2. Given that I have not agreed terms or consented to processing information, how exactly does the TV know not to process voice recordings of me, or my TV viewing data? I.e. how does it tell who has consented and who has not, before processing any data?

3. If it cannot tell, does that mean you have been processing voice recordings and other personal data without my consent?

4. If so, will you be reporting this breach to the Information Commissioner's Office your self, or would you like me to do it for you?

I hope you can help answer these important questions.

To my surprise they replied!

Good morning Adrian,

Thank you for your query regarding your LG TV; I would be more than happy to assist you with this query today.

I can confirm that the TV does not record your voice or use voice controls unless you hold the button on the magic remote to do so.

It is not possible for the TV to function to its fullest without accepting the terms and conditions as it needs to know things like your country for region locked apps like Netflix as well as tracking what you have watched to make recommendations and keep track of where in a series or movie you are. We could revert back to how it used to be and how most manufacturers work and not ask and just do it without your permission.

As previously mentioned the TV does not record or listen to your voice unless you select the option to do so. You can disable this functionality in the terms and conditions by following the steps below;

Home → Settings → All Settings → General → About this TV → User Agreements

There has been no breach of any sort here. While you did not personally agree to the terms and conditions the person you allowed to set up the TV (Your Son) did. At any point you could have prevented this decision or reverted it by following the mentioned steps above.

If you do wish to discuss this further please do not hesitate to contact us on 0344 847 5454 or alternatively you can also reply to this email.

Thank you in advance.

Kind regards 
Carlin
LG Electronics UK Help desk 
---------------------------------- 
LG Customer Services

Wow... Just wow.

17 comments:

  1. Data protection only relates to information from which they would be able to identify you personally... would they be able to identify you from the information they collect?

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    Replies
    1. Well, for a start, they know my IP address, and probably can capture login details to netflix, who knows. They asked my postcode when setting up. I think they know who I am!

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    2. Only in a theoretical sense. If they knew you well enough they certainly would have run a mile before hitting you with a dialogue like that. (And I wonder, from a response that good, whether they did a bit of googling about and blog reading before responding. :) )

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    3. If they hold personally-identifiable data about you, why not do a subject access request and see what it returns? My guess is that they would respond saying that they hold no data about you (other than the correspondence you’ve had with them about the matter)... would they then have failed to discharge their responsibilities under GDPR?

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  2. I'm surprised they even understood the question! Perhaps it was referred to in-house legal to draft the response. But it doesn't read as if in-house counsel drafted it.

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    Replies
    1. Indeed. There isn’t enough whitherto, aforementioned, whereby and forsooth in the wording for Rumole of the Bailey to have sprinkled his magic touch on it.

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  3. You keep a blog in which you don't care about publishing your home address, vehicle details, smart meter serial numbers, your voice, call recordings, the layout of part of your house, the location of various items of high value, your alarm setup, your holiday times, how your door locks work, your banks, financial arrangements and so on to unknown strangers all over the world, and then you get shirty with LG over an edge case privacy interpretation of their terms. Wow indeed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Where do you draw the line then? Am I allowed to freely publish his details on my blog too? Should I be able to sell those details or use them in a way that makes me money? We're talking about a device that can potentially (intentionally or otherwise) eavesdrop on every conversation happening in a room and transmit it to anywhere on the planet. I'm not a tinfoil hat wearer or privacy advocate by any means, but I can see the difference between these two actions.

      I suppose what it comes down to is the information published on this blog is selected and done out of choice

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    2. Also, the author has, I am sure, given consent to himself for the purposes of using his personal information in that way. He may not, however, have given anybody else such consent.

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  4. They still have no contract with you; there was no meeting of minds, in any case this would have been impossible as one 'party' was a piece of software and had no mind, and no representative from LG communicated with you yourself. Seems these people are just making it up as they go along. When I get an x86 PC, some software tries to impose T&C on me, I just refuse to agree. They have already taken my money and I have the goods, it's a bit late for them to try to impose additional terms after it's all over, but they seem either oblivious if this fact or are pretending to be be so. Makes you wonder what kind of incompetent lawyers they have. I just take hard disks out of machines and put them aside in a drawer or format them, so absolutely no chance at all of acceptance of any T&C (not even with a non-person). (I always out much better hard disks in the boxes anyway, and if I should sell the PC, I out the original HD back in it so it's pristine for the new owner and no chance of any of my data being recoverable from it, so there is method in this seeming madness.

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  5. Careful what you wish for. A tick box every time you start your TV will not be nice...

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    Replies
    1. Still does not address people walking in to the room after the TV is started...

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    2. This is what Nissan do with the leaf on the logic that they don't know who is driving. It's really annoying, and I hope nobody else does it...

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    3. I wonder if you could install an ad blocker.

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  6. The highly evasive response from LG needs very careful study. It merely says that the TV itself does not record your voice or use voice controls. But the TV could still send all the conversations in the room off to the cloud all the time, and the cloud could record and analyse everything.

    Glad I don't have a TV !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How would the TV send the information into the cloud if the TV itself does not record the voice? It might not store it, but it surely must process it... in which case it is “processing personal information”...?

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  7. The claims that "the TV does not record or listen to your voice" are just weasel words. My landline telephone does not record or listen to my voice, but it transmits conversations to the PSTN which is what it's supposed to do.

    LG certainly has form in this area so Adrian is right to be concerned.

    https://www.darkreading.com/compliance/lg-admits-smart-tvs-spied-on-users/d/d-id/1112755?

    http://www.zdnet.com/article/how-to-keep-your-smart-tv-from-spying-on-you/

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