Vizio has been tracking, selling your TV viewing habits - in something that we've found out from a settlement with the FTC and the New Jersey Attorney General, costing Vizio a swift $2.2 million.
The $2.2 million settlement will settle the state and federal charges placed against Vizio, as the company were busted installing software on 11 million smart TVs to track viewing histories, all without consumer knowledge. Vizio is being order ed to delete any user data that was scooped up before March 1, 2016.
Vizio was busted working with a third-party company to build its smart TVs that were capable of capturing "second-by-second" viewing information about what's being displayed on the screen. This information captured includes what was on your cable, internet, set-top boxes, DVD players, over-the-air broadcasts, and other streaming devices.
FTC senior attorney Lesley Fair says that Vizio have been tracking users on their smart TVs since 2014, with Fair adding that Vizio were selling the viewing data to advertisers. This data included IP addresses that could be matched to the owner, and household.
Furthermore, third parties could use the information to secure personal data such as sex, age, income, marital status, household size, education, and home ownership. But don't worry, 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", reports Engadget.