FTC Spanks Vizio For $2.2 Million For Collecting Data From Smart TV’s Without User Consent

I am no fan of smart TVs. I cite these four examples of why you should not ever buy one. And you will not see me with one in my home. Now there’s a fifth reason not to buy one. The FTC just made smart TV manufacturer Vizio pay $2.2 million dollars to settle a case where Vizio had been collecting data on what owners of their smart TVs were doing without their consent:

The stipulated federal court order requires VIZIO to prominently disclose and obtain affirmative express consent for its data collection and sharing practices, and prohibits misrepresentations about the privacy, security, or confidentiality of consumer information they collect. It also requires the company to delete data collected before March 1, 2016, and to implement a comprehensive data privacy program and biennial assessments of that program.

According to the agencies’ complaint, starting in February 2014, VIZIO, Inc. and an affiliated company have manufactured VIZIO smart TVs that capture second-by-second information about video displayed on the smart TV, including video from consumer cable, broadband, set-top box, DVD, over-the-air broadcasts, and streaming devices.

In addition, VIZIO facilitated appending specific demographic information to the viewing data, such as sex, age, income, marital status, household size, education level, home ownership, and household value, the agencies allege. VIZIO sold this information to third parties, who used it for various purposes, including targeting advertising to consumers across devices, according to the complaint.

According to the complaint, VIZIO touted its “Smart Interactivity” feature that “enables program offers and suggestions” but failed to inform consumers that the settings also enabled the collection of consumers’ viewing data. The complaint alleges that VIZIO’s data tracking—which occurred without viewers’ informed consent—was unfair and deceptive, in violation of the FTC Act and New Jersey consumer protection laws.

You have to wonder how many other smart TV makers are doing something like this? Care to place bets on that?

Advertisements

One Response to “FTC Spanks Vizio For $2.2 Million For Collecting Data From Smart TV’s Without User Consent”

  1. […] Vizio seeing as TVs that can spy on you is top of mind thanks to WikiLeaks. You might recall that Vizio got slapped by the FTC for having TVs that collected data on users without their consent. Well, things just got worse for them as they’re now going to have to defend a lawsuit in […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: