VIZIO Settlement: Smart TVs should not track your shows without your O.K.

Share This Page

For decades, only you knew the television programs you watched from your living room. That’s starting to change. The FTC recently explored this at its Smart TV workshop. The data generated when you watch television can reveal a lot about you and your household. So, 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. VIZIO wasn’t doing that, and the FTC stepped in.

Today, the FTC announced that VIZIO agreed to settle charges that it violated the law when it used its automated content recognition (“ACR”) software in more than 11 million internet-connected VIZIO televisions to determine what people watch – without their consent. VIZIO collected unique data from each household with a VIZIO smart TV that included not only second-by-second viewing information, but also the household’s IP address, nearby access points, zip code, and other information. They also shared that information with other companies.

This settlement stops VIZIO’s unauthorized tracking, and makes clear that smart TV makers should get people’s consent before collecting and sharing television viewing information. From now on, VIZIO is required to prominently disclose their data collection and sharing practices and get permission from the TV owners. The company also has to delete most of the data it already collected and put in place a privacy program that also checks their partners’ privacy practices.

If you own a VIZIO TV, go to your TV’s settings menu and look for information about automated content recognition (“ACR”). For more information on privacy, identity and online security check out FTC’s advice at consumer.ftc.gov.

Tagged with: privacy

Comments

Are they going to reimburse us for the info they collected? That's invasion of privacy!

My volume immediately quit working yesterday(perfect sound always to then nothing) on 3 year old vizio 42', without any previous problems. Could this be a result of rebooting by manufacture? Only had 2 year warranty and never problem with set before?

I own a Vizio and had only had it at time not even 2yrs yet & My Volume also Went out & The Vizio tec guy came out to fix it and did not mention nothing about no Settlements going on with these TV I have not Looked yet at the Logging programs BC It's 5.42am I need to sleep but I will CK later today and let u know about my Vizio Smart TV thxs

I would like to know the answer to this question as well.

I have a Samsung TV and I also have a ROKU modem to watch Indian Channels. I feel many times as if they are watching how long are you watching the program. I go on getting signals and then sometimes they ask me "Are you still watching"
Please can you look into it.

no that's so that if you fall asleep while watching, you don't continue to eat up bandwidth that they could be allotting to other customers.

Also get the Same messages >>are you still watching

I also have a Samsung 4K uhd smart TV and I had the same similar problem but even for disappointed because I didn't Even have Internet option on and I was using playing my Xbox Internet and it wasn't till later that I found out the that I had all these messages so with that being said they said that I wasnt able to use to the UHD function and from there on I st started to have problems big ones all I want to know why the company took to long to act when I didnt know what was going on they should of contacted me a.s.a.p very dissapointed and that's when the problems started....

The problem here is that they will just do as other products and require you to accept terms of service that allow them to collect your info. No agreement, no TV.

Ok, no agreement no TV. I can stop watching TV. If enough people refuse they will stop rather than loose customers. Most metro areas have network stations on the air.

I've had this VIZIO for several years. It doesn't have ACR in the menu. Instead it has CEC settings, which the Internet says is Consumer Electronics Control. From what I can tell, these are not the same thing, so I am guessing that not all models of VIZIO have ACR. My TV is 3D 55 inch and about 3 years old.

Go to System:Reset & Admin:Viewing Data . At least this iis what I have on my TV

I think I have the same TV, and it does have ACR. As the article notes, it's under "Smart Interactivity". CEC is unrelated, and it's for when you want a device to control your TV via HDMI. For example if you turn the feature on on both devices then turn on a Playstation 4 it will turn the TV on and switch inputs automatically.

thank you

How could I file a claim?

If they collected and sold our data, the should compensate us or at least tells where it went and what did they do with it? What if it wss used in identity theft schemes?

Nice

Great. Now why did you not include information on how to file a claim. That should have been the most important part of this article.

The FTC works to get money back to consumers. In fact, in the last four months alone, the FTC has distributed over $250 million to consumers as the result of recent FTC settlements with AT&T, Herbalife, Lumosity, One Technologies, Mercola.com, and others.

But in some cases, refunds are just not feasible because the individual check amounts would be too small, especially compared to the costs of printing and mailing the checks. VIZIO is one of those cases. When refunds are not feasible, the FTC sends the money to the US Treasury to help pay the cost of operating the federal government.

The FTC is are already collecting 2.5 million for themselves as a fine. A portion of that covers their legal cost but they could have asked for a larger settlement to provide payments to consumers. Most of the money thry collected goes towards their slush fund. How do you sue on my behalf, win money in the suit, but not share any of the money????

In this settlement, VIZIO, Inc, agreed to pay $1.5 million to the FTC and $1 million to the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, with $300,000 of that amount suspended.

In some cases, refunds are not feasible because the individual check amounts would be too small, especially compared to the costs of printing and mailing the checks. VIZIO is one of those cases. When refunds are not feasible, the FTC sends the money to the US Treasury to help pay the cost of operating the federal government.

Another one for the consumer! Thanks FTC!

Owners of the VIIO should see a lawyer and file a class action.

THANKS AGAIN

I have a Vizio tv and would be interested in being a part of a class action suit as I had no knowledge of this. Without my knowledge there is no consent.

I too have 2 VIZIO tv and o had no knowledge Of this info. I would like to be part of the class act suit for invading my privacy. Pretty Scary !!

Ok so how do we file a claim here this is not very helpful

I have never owned or been exposed totge "smart tvs"in question. I just wanted to let the FTC know that, as a consumer, I sincerely appreciate your dedicated hard work in looking into these issues. Thank you so very much.

2.2 million? vizio probably made 100 times that much going ahead with their spy game.

No money for the real victims. Government is buying all the data for 2.2 million

The FTC does not have, and never had, the data that Vizio collected.

Smart TV's should have to pay the consumer for every Ad that they show us.

I have a total of 3. The one in my kitchen shares the same controller as my family room. One evening we had both on, the one in the kitchen turned to a YouTube video. Both these tvs share a controller from dish. No one else in the house! It's bad enough I didn't realize that one was a smart tv, but a few days later, a screen mysteriously popped up with the privacy policy!! I decided to read said policy and did see these issues you are addressing here. I immediately changed the settings. Just wish I'd known when we bought it. Specifically bought a Visio because of the spying being done by Samsung. Now to figure out the other tv....

How did you change the settings...thanks.

Vizio SmartCast TV's also have this ACR on by default, not just the VIA Smart TV's... please have Vizio provide a firmware update for the SmartCast TV's without ACR as well.

It's as clear as mud what I'm supposed to do about the CEC and ARC in the settings, since nothing that Vizio says in the menu info mentions information gathering, and I have no idea what else I'm disabling if I change the setting.

I have 2 Visio TVs and had NO idea! I'd like to be part of a class action suit also!!!

For several years I've complained that the Fox News channels I watch have trouble when all others do not. Anyone notice this on centain channels?
How do we find out with whom our info was shared?

On my set, the setting is called Smart Interactivity and it should be set to OFF.

So where's the link to file complaint

Will there be a class action claim? If not I can get one started!

I have a Vizio Tv since 2013 and how do I be notified on this lawsuit

The FTC should have sought the class action suit for us, the consumers, especially since the agency and the state of NJ were compensated although they weren't the ones who's privacy was violated. I Vizio smart TV owner for the last 5 years would to be compensated for the privacy violation and to pay for replacing this invasive TV.

I purchased my Vizio smart tv 3 years ago and then purchased another one 2 years ago. How do I file on this law suit? If there is a settlement then the proceeds from the settlement should be coming out to us the consumers who were wronged.

The FTC works to get money back to consumers. In fact, in the last four months alone, the FTC has distributed over $250 million to consumers as the result of recent FTC settlements with AT&T, Herbalife, Lumosity, One Technologies, Mercola.com, and others.

But in some cases, refunds are just not feasible because the individual check amounts would be too small, especially compared to the costs of printing and mailing the checks. VIZIO is one of those cases. When refunds are not feasible, the FTC sends the money to the US Treasury to help pay the cost of operating the federal government.

Why does it go to the Government? Sounds like another Scam

Ok I own 2 of these smart Vizio TVs and watching a DVD can they see what kind of DVD I was watching and other programs and could they just record what you was watching How do the consumer know that they could really see you. I got noticing with all of our computers turned off in the house or router would be sending signals out. I told the wife some one is using our Satellite feed and some how they got our code. I got unplugging our router thinking it was someone close by using or system and it was Vizio.I have one of these tvs in the living room and the other one right in front of the bed in the Bedroom. Dang

Please make it easy to be compsentated for this invasive procedure

They should check into Direct TV and Cable TV also.....

The F.T.C. Needs to post some answers to these comments and questions on how we, the consumers, can be compensated on this lawsuit settlement or else we need to start considering filing a lawsuit against the F.T.C. for taking compensation from a settlement that we the victims of Vizio deserve. How do we file a claim to be compensated from this settlement? I at least want to be compensated for the purchase of a privacy invading television.

Pages

Leave a Comment

Comment Policy