Have you ever felt like you were being “watched”? If you own one brand of TV, it’s a distinct possibility.
Vizio will pay two-point-two million dollars to settle allegations that it used tracking software to spy on people who bought the company's televisions. The Federal Trade Commission and the New Jersey Attorney General’s office says the company tracked customers' viewing habits without their knowledge or permission.
According to the lawsuit, Vizio was literally watching its watchers; capturing "second-by-second information" about what people viewed on its smart TVs. That included data from cable, broadband, set-top boxes, over-the-air broadcasts, DVDs and streaming devices. Vizio also was accused of linking demographic information to the data and selling the data, including users' genders, ages and incomes, to companies that do targeted advertising.
Vizio must also stop collecting data and must specifically ask for consent to do so in the future. The company has not admitted any wrong doing, but said in a statement "Today, the FTC has made clear that all smart-TV makers should get people's consent before collecting and sharing television viewing information, and Vizio now is leading the way.”
Source: Los Angeles Times