#AceNewsReport – Feb.20: Selling your date to the ‘ Highest Bidder ‘ is fast becoming ‘ BIG BUSINESS ‘ and our ‘ Freedom to SHARE everything ‘ is their stock I trade, the latest is VIZIO who has just been fined in this report… But this is just the ‘ Tip of the very large Iceberg ‘ be safe Editor ..
The Federal Trade Commission and the Office of the New Jersey Attorney General have reached a $2.2 million settlement with smart TV manufacturer VIZIO over the company’s tracking of consumers’ viewing habits without their knowledge or consent.
According to the complaint, VIZIO installed software on more than 11 million TVs to collect viewing data without consumers’ knowledge or consent. VIZIO also combined this viewing data with specific demographic information about the viewers, including sex, age, income, marital status, household size, education, and home value. The company then sold this enhanced data to third parties for targeted advertising across consumer devices connected to the IP address shared by the smart TV. The complaint alleged that VIZIO’s data tracking without consumers’ informed consent was an unfair and deceptive trade practice in violation of the FTC Act and the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.
Acting FTC Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen issued a statement concurring with the settlement, noting that viewers “do not expect televisions to collect and share information about what they watch.” Ohlhausen further explained that the FTC’s action establishes television viewing data as “sensitive information” and that disclosing this data without consumers’ consent causes substantial injury. In a blog post on the settlement, the FTC advised consumers that “[s]mart TVs should not track your shows without your O.K.”
EPIC previously filed a complaint with the FTC over Samsung’s smart TV data collection practices, including its “always on” voice recognition feature. EPIC’s complaint explained that Samsung deceived consumers by not effectively disclosing the spying capabilities of its smart TV, leaving the majority of consumers unaware that their television is routinely intercepting and recording the private communications within their homes. EPIC has also defended the privacy of consumers’ TV viewing habits in a federal court case involving the Video Privacy Protection Act.
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