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Samsung pushing pop-up adverts to people's TVs - even when they’re watching their own films

By Andrew Griffin

Published 11/02/2015

A Pepsi ad barged its way into a film a user was watching on hi s Samsung TV, despite the fact that he owned the video
A Pepsi ad barged its way into a film a user was watching on hi s Samsung TV, despite the fact that he owned the video

Samsung smart TVs have pushed pop-up adverts onto users, even when they’re watching their own films.

The news comes the same week that the company was criticised for an Orwellian privacy policy that allowed the TVs to spy on their owners.

Some films and TV shows on the TV get stopped and then show a muted ad for Pepsi, according to Reddit user beans90. The ads can pop up even when users are watching their own content, and Reddit users reported seeing it using the Plex Media Server software that allows for streaming of films from computers to TVs.

The ads are enabled by default on recent smart TVs, according to other Reddit users. They can be turned off by ticking a switch in the menus to indicate that users “disagree with the Yahoo Privacy Notice”.

The mention of Yahoo seems to refer to a 2014 tie-up between it and Samsung, that would see the company create ads and interactive experiences for the TV. At the time, the companies said that those ads would require users to opt in to see them.

The company is “currently conducting a full and thorough investigation into the cause as our top priority,” it told the Guardian. The issue seems only to have affected those users in Australia, and was caused by an error, Samsung said.

Smart TVs are expected offer new opportunities to advertisers because they can log what users watch and do. Since the TVs are internet connected and have their own processors, they also allow for more interactive and intrusive advertising options.

Samsung Smart TVs 'eavesdrop'  

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