Home / Software & Service News / Vizio tracked and sold your TV viewing habits without consent

Vizio tracked and sold your TV viewing habits without consent

A settlement with the Federal Trade Commission and the New Jersey Attorney General will cost Vizio $2.2 million. That sum will settle the charges with both the state and federal agencies after a complaint that Vizio installed software on 11 million smart TVs to track viewing histories with consumers’ knowledge. As part of the settlement, a federal court ordered the company to disclose its data collection and sharing practices and get express consent from customers before doing so.

What’s more, Vizio must delete any user data collected before March 1, 2016. According to the original complaint filed by the FTC and New Jersey AG, the company worked with a third party to build smart TVs that could capture “second-by-second” viewing information about what’s on the screen. That includes details on content from cable, internet, set-top boxes, DVD players, over-the-air broadcasts and other streaming devices.

In a blog post explaining the case, FTC senior attorney Lesley Fair says Vizio began making smart TVs in 2014 that automatically tracked the owners viewing habits and beamed that info back to its servers. Fair explains the company also added the tracking tech to older models via a software update. All of this was done without clearly informing customers or getting the proper consent to do so.

Fair also says that Vizio sold the collected viewing data to advertisers. Those details included IP addresses that could be matched to the owner and household. From there, third parties could use the information to gather personal details like sex, age, income, marital status, household size, education, and home ownership. Vizio didn’t allow the companies it was working with to identify users by name, but it did allow those third parties to track user habits across devices.

Vizio will pay $1.5 million to the FTC to settle the charges in addition to a civil penalty to the state of New Jersey that brings the total to $2.2 million. The company must also implement a privacy program that evaluates its use of consumer data on a regular basis in addition to deleting most of the information it gathered. We’ve reached out to Vizio for a comment on the matter and we’ll update this post when we hear back.

Source: FTC (1), (2)

Click Here For Original Source Of The Article

About Ms. A. C. Kennedy

Ms. A. C. Kennedy
My name is Ms A C Kennedy and I am a Health practitioner and Consultant by day and a serial blogger by night. I luv family, life and learning new things. I especially luv learning how to improve my business. I also luv helping and sharing my information with others. Don't forget to ask me anything!

Check Also

Kevlar cartilage could help you recover from joint injuries

It can be difficult to fully recover from knee injuries or other damage to your joints, if just because there hasn't been an artificial replacement for cartilage that can withstand as much punishment as the real thing. That may not be an issue in the long run, though: scientists have developed a Kevlar-based hydrogel that behaves like natural cartilage. It mixes a network of Kevlar nanofibers with polyvinyl alcohol to absorb water at rest (like real cartilage does in idle moments) and become extremely resistant to abuse, but releases it under stress -- say, a workout at the gym.

You don't even need a lot of it to replicate a human body's sturdiness and overall functionality. A material with 92 percent water is about as tough as real cartilage, while a 70 percent mix is comparable to rubber. Previous attempts at simulating cartilage couldn't hold enough water to transport nutrients to cells, which made them a poor fit for implants.

There's a long way to go before the material becomes useful. Researchers are hoping to patent the substance and find companies to make it a practical reality. The implications are already quite clear, mind you. If it works as well in patients as it does in lab experiments, it could lead to cartilage implants that are roughly as good as the real tissue they replace. A serious knee injury might not put an end to your running days.

Source: University of Michigan, Wiley Online Library