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

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.

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