Even though Chinese TVs are catching the attention of audiences in many markets around the world, including India and North America, there is a growing suspicion that these TVs may be spying on users.
Chinese TV maker Skyworth has confirmed that some of its smart TVs collect user data and blames a third-party application that was already loaded on the TVs. Skyworth TVs have an app called Gozen Service, which records and shares data on all other connected gadgets on the network. Wi-Fi to which the TV is connected. The Gozen Service application was developed by a company called Gozen Data, which calls itself a large data analytics platform for OTT services and is based in Beijing. Skyworth reports that the application has been disabled.
Skyworth apologizes after user posts on Chinese developer forum V2EX, which reported that network traffic showed that consumer-owned Skyworth TVs scan the Wi-Fi network every few minutes to collect data about other devices connected to the same Wi-Fi, and that included device names, IP addresses and other networks within range. "There was a business partnership between Gozen Data and Shenzhen Kukai Network Technology Co. Ltd. (Coocaa), a subsidiary of Shenzhen Chuangwei-RGB Electronic Co. Ltd. (Skyworth TV). The collaboration was limited to monitoring the ratings of domestic television programs in mainland China by sampling. "Violations beyond this scope have not been approved by Skyworth TV," Skyworth said in an official statement.
It is not clear if any of the Skyworth TVs sold in other countries have the same pre-loaded spyware application. Gozen Data's website, gz-data.com, states in an official statement that "After an examination, the APK" Correcut Data Service "is a product of Beijing Collation Data Technology Co. Ltd. Our company has signed a business partnership with Skyworth Kukai Network Technology Co., which can be disabled by the users themselves. The relevant information collected by our company is used for a research related to businesses ".
In India, Skyworth sells smart TVs under the Metz brand. It is not clear whether Metz TVs are affected by the same issue. Skyworth says it will crack down on the behavior of its partners and service providers confidentiality and user data.
This is not the first time that privacy issues involving Chinese television have been reported. Last year, independent security researchers said TCL TVs using the platform Android TV they had security holes that allowed anyone to access the entire system of the device.
Source of information: news18.com