Vizio Says Its Smart TVs Will Now Inform You When They’re Spying On You
Vizio is one of the more popular smart TV makers in the U.S. thanks in part to decent specs and low prices. However, the TV maker found itself in hot water with the FTC in early 2017 over the practice of collecting TV user viewing data without the express permission of the users. While this happened over a year ago, there are still likely some Vizio TV owners out there who have no idea that their watching habits were monitored. That will soon change with Vizio rolling out notifications to affected users via their TVs directly.
Last week attorneys working on the case against Vizio asked the judge overseeing the proceedings to extend the time to submit a motion for preliminary settlement. That settlement had been set to be detailed to the public on September 12. The delay is so that Vizio can test the system and ensure that messages sent to the affected users can be properly displayed and function as intended. Attorneys who are leading this class action want to make details on the settlement public on or before October 3.
Court documents state, "The Parties are developing a class notice program with direct notification to the class through VIZIO Smart TV displays, which requires testing to make sure any TV notice can be properly displayed and functions as intended. The additional time requested will allow the parties to confirm that the notice program proposed in the motion for preliminary approval is workable and satisfies applicable legal standards."
Vizio continues to maintain that it was collecting and sharing nonpersonal information like IP addresses and zip codes. Plaintiffs in the case argue that it was easy to determine with that data who was watching what. Vizio had previously agreed to a $2.2 million settlement in this case. The breakdown of that fine would see $1.5 million going to the FTC and around $700,000 to the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs.