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VIZIO agrees not to track your TV shows, other information without your permission

Falltech-smarttv-logo_600pxVIZIO has agreed to settle charges that it violated the law when it used its automated content recognition or ACR software in more than 11 million Internet-connected VIZIO televisions to determine what people watch – without their consent, the Federal Trade Commission said Monday.

VIZIO collected data from households 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. It also shared that information with other companies.

The 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, said Kevin Moriarty, attorney for the FTC’s Division of Privacy and Identity Protection.

From now on, VIZIO is required to 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’s 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.

For more information on privacy, identity, and online security, visit consumer.ftc.gov.

Copyright 2017, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist

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