Kodi add-ons could be spying on and tracking users who watch illegal streams

Following TVAddons shut down a Kodi insider believes updates could hide malware to log viewing habits.

Is Kodi spying on you? One insider believes add-ons could hide malware to track your viewing habitsiStock

Anybody who uses Kodi add-ons to watch illegal streams could be spied on and have their personal information handed over to anti-piracy groups, according to an insider who works at the media player project.

In the fight to curb piracy, the popular Kodi add-on 'TVAddons' was shut down in June, with its three domains transferred to Canadian law firm DrapeauLex. This move could now hold significant implications.

According to a report by the Independent, Kodi project manager Nathen Betzen believes it would be easy for the law firm to deliver updates that covertly collect viewing habits and IP addresses of Kodi users, catching them red-handed if they watched illegal streams of sport or movies.

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"If some malware author wanted, he could easily install a watcher that reports back the user's IP address and everything they were doing in Kodi," Betzen said.

"If the law firm is actually an anti-piracy group, that seems like the likeliest thing I can think of."

While using a Kodi box is not illegal, using it to watch pirated movies or live sporting events through app-like add-ons is. Its creators blasted those who have misused the platform for piracy and publicly said they 'do not care' if the add-ons no longer work.

So far it has been difficult for police and anti-piracy groups to individually identify users who are viewing piracy-infringing content, however this move, while speculative, could lead users straight into the arms of authorities.

DrapeauLex has not yet revealed what it intends to do with the domains operated by TVAddons, which claimed to have had 40 million unique users before its shuttering in June 2017.

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