Tags: vizio | ftc | settlement | spying

Vizio, FTC Settlement is $2.2 Million in TV-Spying Case

Image: Vizio, FTC Settlement is $2.2 Million in TV-Spying Case

Matthew McRae at LeEco and Vizio Press Conference in Hollywood where it was announced that LeEco had acquired Vizio for $2 billion, Tuesday, July 26, 2016, in Los Angeles. (Dan Steinberg/AP for LeEco)

By    |   Tuesday, 07 Feb 2017 11:18 AM

Vizio and the FTC have agreed on a settlement worth over $2 million in a television-spying case.

The Federal Trade Commission said Monday that Vizio had used 11 million of its televisions to collect and sell information pertaining to their customers without consent, according to The Washington Post.

Vizio agreed to pay $2.2 million to settle the case.

“Consumers didn’t know that while they were watching their TVs, Vizio was watching them,” the FTC wrote in a blog post.

According to the FTC, Vizio, at one point, was receiving “as many as 100 billion data points a day from millions of TVs.” The company reportedly sold that information it to advertisers.

“Before a company pulls up a chair next to you and starts taking careful notes on everything you watch (and then shares it with its partners), it should ask if that’s O.K. with you,” said Kevin McCarthy, an attorney with the FTC’s Division of Privacy and Identity Protection, according to The Washington Post. “Vizio wasn’t doing that, and the FTC stepped in.”

Vizio has neither admitted nor denied any wrongdoing.

“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,” said Jerry Huang, Vizio’s general counsel, according to The Washington Post.

The FTC said Vizio’s spying began in February of 2014.

However, Huang said in a statement that Vizio’s software “never paired viewing data with personally identifiable information such as name or contact information, and the Commission did not allege or contend otherwise,” according to USA Today.

Huang added that the requirement for consent, now “sets a new standard for best industry privacy practices for the collection and analysis of data collected from today’s internet-connected televisions and other home devices.”

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Vizio and the FTC have agreed on a settlement worth over $2 million in a television-spying case.
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2017-18-07
Tuesday, 07 Feb 2017 11:18 AM
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