The lawsuit, filed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the New Jersey Attorney General, accuses Vizio of hiding tracking software behind a setting called “Smart Interactivity,” and then turning that data into a mountain of cash by selling it to advertisers and others.

Data obtained by Vizio included second-by-second information about video displayed on the smart TV, including video from consumer cable, broadband, set-top box, DVD, over-the-air broadcasts, and streaming devices. All told, Vizio illegally obtained as many as 100 billion data points each day from millions of TVs.

Per the settlement agreement (PDF), Vizio must:

  • Prominently disclose and obtain affirmative express consent for its data collection and sharing practices;
  • Not make any misrepresentations about the privacy, security, or confidentiality of consumer information they collect;
  • Delete data collected before March 1, 2016, and
  • Implement a comprehensive data privacy program and biennial assessments of that program.

The $2.2 million payment by VIZIO includes a payment of $1.5 million to the FTC and $1 million to the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, with $300,000 suspended.

The FTC is working to get money back to consumers. Over the last four months alone, the commission has distributed over $250 million as the result of settlements with AT&T, Herbalife, Lumosity, One Technologies,, and others.

To apply for a refund in any of these cases, visit the FTC refunds page, which lists recent lawsuits which resulted in settlements. Click on the name of a case to apply for a refund or learn more about the case.

Source: Vanity Fair

Posted by Ray Simon

Ray Simon is a veteran copywriter with more than a decade's worth of experience in the field. He studied journalism at Vanderbilt University, graduating Cum Laude in 2007. Ray currently specializes in writing content and news articles for independent publications.