Chinese Smart TV Maker Accused of Spying on Users

Chinese smart TV manufacturer Skyworth was found to have pre-installed spyware on the Android-based operating system of their products.

“I found that there was something called ‘Gozen Data,’ and I had no idea what it was doing,” reported a user who posted on the V2EX website.

The pre-installed app Gozen Data, scanned devices connected to the wi-fi network the television was connected to and was collecting devices data like devices name, details of a network interface card, was detecting neighboring network details, iMac details and sending them off to the, a data analysis platform.

It was later found out that Gozen Data also provided services for Sanyo, Toshiba, and Philips, and held data harvested from 103 million smart TVs according to data from 2018.

Skyworth claimed that the harvested data was not used for spying but for advertising purposes.

Chinese citizen journalist Xing Jian said that the Android smart TV operating systems being used by the Chines government in an operation known as Project Xueliang to spy on rural Chinese citizens.

“Project Xueliang uses the Android operating system to achieve full domain coverage, full network sharing, round-the-clock and remote-controlled video surveillance for policing purposes,” claimed Xing.

There are no studies yet from western cybersecurity researchers regarding Gozen Data.

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