February 13, 2017
On February 6, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced that it, along with the New Jersey State Attorney General, has reached a $2.2 million consumer privacy settlement with VIZIO, Inc. (“VIZIO”), one of the world’s largest manufacturers of Internet-connected “smart” televisions. According to the underlying complaint, in 2014 VIZIO began manufacturing smart TVs that capture “second by second information” about what consumers are watching on their television sets. In addition, according to the complaint, VIZIO began installing similar software in older television sets that it had previously sold. On top of collecting customer viewing data, the VIZIO television sets also captured related customer-specific Internet protocol (“IP”) addresses, wired and wireless MAC addresses, WiFi signal strength, and nearby WiFi access points. Most importantly, VIZIO neither adequately disclosed to consumers that it was engaged in this data collection process, nor that it sold the collected data to third-parties.
What are the Terms of the Settlement with VIZIO?