When you’re watching your TV shows, when you flip channels, and so on, those are important pieces of data that companies can use to identify your watching habits, which in turn allows marketers to create ads that can target you better. Obviously this kind of tracking is considered by some an invasion of privacy, but thankfully it is a feature that can be turned off.

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Unfortunately for Vizio, it seems that the company has for the past couple of years been tracking the activities of its users without their knowledge. Apparently the company had enabled tracking features by default, which was then reported to the FTC who then filed a lawsuit against the company. Ultimately the company settled with the FTC over these issues with a massive $2.2 million settlement.

In a blog post by Lesley Fair, a senior attorney with the FTC’s consumer protection bureau, “Vizio then turned that mountain of data into cash by selling consumers’ viewing histories to advertisers and others. And let’s be clear: We’re not talking about summary information about national viewing trends. According to the complaint, Vizio got personal.”

While Vizio does not admit any wrongdoing as part of the settlement agreement, Jerry Huang, Vizio’s general counsel said, “Going forward, this resolution sets a new standard for best industry privacy practices for the collection and analysis of data collected from today’s internet-connected televisions and other home devices.”

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