In China, the Smart TV watches you, shares IP address, Wi-Fi SSIDs, viewing habits, and more

Tellie-maker Skyworth says it was duped by analytics service

Chinese TV-maker Skyworth has admitted that some of its Android-powered smart televisions shared more data than it agreed to send to a third-party organisation.

A statement from the company explains that some of its tellies sent information about owners’ viewing habits to a company called “Gozen Data”. But Skyworth accused Gozen of slurping more data and has terminated its relationship and demanded deletion of out-of-scope data.

The tellie-maker was alerted to the data slurping by a post to Chinese creative tech forum V2EX, on which a user investigated apps running on his TV and found one that he alleged scans the local network and transmitted details of hostname, MAC address, IP address, latency, plus nearby Wi-Fi networks’ SSIDs, to is operated by Gozen Data, and the company represents itself as “The leader in smart decision making for connected TVs”. Among the services Gozen offers is collection of data for audience ratings services based on activity including use of streaming video platforms, “Integration of traditional TV and digital media measurement”

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Skyworth does not deny that Gozen had a presence on its tellies, but says it has disabled the app.

“Moving forward, we will implement more stringent reviews on the conduct of our partners and service providers to safeguard our users’ privacy, data, rights, and interests,” Skyworth promises. ®

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