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, Mercola.com, 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