American based VIZIO has been collecting the viewing habits on 11 million TVs without user’s’ consent. VIZIO has to pay $2.2 million in settlements to the American Federal Trade Commission and the state of New Jersey.
Next to the fine, VIZIO also is forced to delete all data prior towards March 1st and will be required to start a data privacy program, reports myce.com:
In 2014, VIZIO and a partner manufactured smart TVs that collected all kinds of viewing habits without informing users or asking for their permission. According to the FTC complaint, the viewing habits were also combined with all kinds of other data, such as age, sex, income, education, marital status and more. VIZIO sold this data to third parties that used it for all kinds of purposes such as targeted advertisements.
” Evidence shows that consumers do not expect televisions to collect and share information about what they watch. Consumers who are aware of such practices may choose a different television or change the television’s settings to reflect their preferences”, according to acting FTC chairman Maureen K. Ohlhausen.