Decline New Privacy Policy? LG Will Dumb Down Your Smart TV

“Because I will not agree to LG’s Privacy Policy,” a reader in the United Kingdom wrote to Techdirt, “I can now no longer access/use any of of the TV’s network based programs: [BBC] iPlayer, Skype, 3D etc.” What sort of horrific modern nightmare is this? It’s one that could come soon to a formerly-smart television near you, too.

This reader did the thing that hardly any gadget-user does, and actually read the entire privacy policy when a new software update downloaded. “Having read the Privacy Doc I was not best pleased with the company’s assumption that I would simply agree to their sharing all our intimate viewing details (plus what ever else they can see) with all and sundry,” the LG television owner noted.

Fair enough, but when he told the TV that he didn’t agree with the privacy policy, LG had some news for him. He didn’t want to share information with them? Fine: they wouldn’t share any information with him. By “information,” we mean “any of the features that are the entire point of having a smart TV.”

“If we make a material change to our Privacy Policy, we will update you via your LG Smart TV or other means. If you do not consent to the updated privacy policy, some SmartTV services may be restricted,” it spells out helpfully. What’s important to LG is retaining the right to mine your viewing habits (even what you watch on cable or broadcast TV) in order to serve more relevant advertising to you within the smart TV software.

The key question is this: can a company “change the goalposts at will,” as the tipster put it, and yank features of a TV hostage if users don’t agree to new terms and conditions? If the new privacy policy is radically different from the one you agreed to when first purchasing the TV, consumers might have a case.

LG Will Take The ‘Smart’ Out Of Your Smart TV If You Don’t Agree To Share Your Viewing And Search Data With Third Parties [TechDirt]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.