FTC reports the Vizio settled amid accusations.
The closer we get to a more connected world, the more we have to wonder at the consequences of those connections. That came into stark light today. Vizio, a well-known California-based manufacturer of affordable TVs, settled a case with the Federal Trade Commission and New Jersey’s Attorney General’s office. This settlement resolved a case claiming the manufacturer was collecting and selling user’s data gathered through their smart TVs.
FTC claims that 11 million of Vizio’s smart TVs collected, stored, and sold data. This data included moment-by-moment tracking of user’s habits from streaming, broadcast, and even hard copy formats. This means, for example, the TVs knew when viewers caught the latest episode of a popular show, binge watched a whole season, or enjoyed the DVD adaptation of the movie. The information tracking continued as Vizio, allegedly, tied these habits to user data such as age, gender, and income. They further brokered the information to better inform advertising firms on viewer behavior.
The FTC believes that users should be made aware of how the TVs they purchase may monitor them. Vizio failed to do this, and it is costing them $2.2 million.
Vizio denies any wrongdoing.