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South Korea's LG to look into data monitoring allegations

South Korean consumer electronics giant LG has faced criticism over its alleged collection of TV viewers' data and viewing habits. The company said it took the claims seriously and would investigate the matter.

LG Electronics confirmed Thursday it was investigating a claim that some of its Internet-enabled smart TVs sent excessive information on home viewing habits back to the company without users' consent.

The in-house probe comes on the back of a report by a British blogger who employed network traffic tracking software to detail how his LG TV logged the channels he was watching even after an info collection feature was disabled.

The blogger also maintained his TV had collected the names of movie and music files saved in an external USB hard drive plugged into the TV, as well as the set's unique identification info. The data appeared to be sent to LG unencrypted.

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The world's second-largest TV maker said Thursday customer privacy was its top priority and would look into the matter right away.

It remained unclear for the time being whether LG smart televisions shipped to other countries would show the same behavior.

The German online technology portal, Heise, was not able to reconstruct the reported data mining in a test using German and UK IP addresses. It is known, though, that LG fits its European-bound TVs with different software versions, meaning its TVs for the German market might not be affected.

hg/ph (AP, dpa)

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