Chinese tech products have always had suspicions of tracking on the users. As the Chinese TV brands have started to gain momentum in multiple markets including India and North America, the fear that these TVs might be spying on us is also growing. According to Chinese TV maker Skyworth, their TVs are collecting user data.
Skyworth has blamed a third-party app for the user data collection. The app called Gozen Service came preloaded on their TVs. The application was basically logging and sharing data about all other connected gadgets on the same Wi-Fi network as the TV. Skyworth has apologised for the issue and they have promised that they will be disabling the app with an upcoming OTA update.
Skyworth came forward with the apology after the Chinese developer forum V2EX started to flood with posts suggesting Skyworth TVs were scanning the Wi-Fi network every few minutes to collect data about other devices also connected on the same Wi-Fi. The information included device names, IP addresses, network latency and other networks in range.
Skyworth said in an official statement, “There was a business collaboration 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 the surveying of domestic TV program ratings in Mainland China on a sampling basis. The violations beyond this scope were not approved nor authorized by Skyworth TV,” says. It is not clear if any of the Skyworth TVs sold in other countries also have the same spyware app preloaded.
The Gozen Data website, gz-data.com, says in an official statement that, “After self-examination, “Correcut Data Service" APK is a product of Beijing Collation Data Technology Co., Ltd. Our company has signed business cooperation with Skyworth’s Kukai Network Technology Co., Ltd., which can be disabled by users themselves. The relevant information collected by our company is used for viewing and research-related business: families and individuals Rating, viewing effect analysis, advertising viewing analysis and optimization."