Tags: Vizio | lawsuit | settlement | privacy

Accused of Selling Viewer Data, Vizio Settles for $2.2M

Image: Accused of Selling Viewer Data, Vizio Settles for $2.2M

(Vizio.com)

By    |   Monday, 06 Feb 2017 08:43 PM

Vizio, one of the world's biggest makers of Smart TVs, will pay $2.2 million to settle a lawsuit for secretly collecting viewing data and selling it to third parties.

According to a complaint filed Monday by the Federal Trade Commission, internet-connected TVs from Vizio contained automated content recognition, or ACR, software, Ars Technica reported.

And without asking for permission, the code captured second-by-second information about the video the TVs displayed.

The software collected other personal information, and then transmitted it, along with the viewing data, to servers controlled by the manufacturer; Vizio then sold the data to unnamed third-parties for purposes of audience measurement, analysis, and tracking, according to Ars Technica.

In an e-mailed statement, Vizio officials wrote: "The ACR program never paired viewing data with personally identifiable information such as name or contact information, and the Commission did not allege or contend otherwise."

"Instead, as the Complaint notes, the practices challenged by the government related only to the use of viewing data in the 'aggregate' to create summary reports measuring viewing audiences or behaviors."

The tracking started in February 2014.

Under the terms of the settlement, Vizio will pay $1.5 million to the FTC and $700,000 to the New Jersey Division of Consumer affairs. The settlement also requires Vizio to delete all data collected before March 1, 2016. Additionally, Vizio has agreed to prominently disclose and obtain expressed consent for all future data collection.

"Vizio can probably spare the cash, but this is exactly the kind of bad behavior that people feared would crop up when TVs started getting 'smart,'" TechCrunch.com wrote.

"The Vizio brand will be taking a big hit as this news spreads . . ."

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Vizio, one of the world's biggest makers of Smart TVs, will pay $2.2 million to settle a lawsuit for secretly collecting viewing data and selling it to third parties.
Vizio, lawsuit, settlement, privacy
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2017-43-06
Monday, 06 Feb 2017 08:43 PM
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