1 min read

Smart TVs spy on users, company sells data to advertisers

Luana PASCU

February 08, 2017

Ad One product to protect all your devices, without slowing them down.
Free 90-day trial
Smart TVs spy on users, company sells data to advertisers

We”re all crazy about smart devices and, if you”re like the many gadget-obsessed techies out there, you probably own a few already. Has it ever crossed your mind that your latest acquisition may be an open invitation for a hacker into your home or for companies to collect information about your daily activities?

This is what happened in the US to 11 million owners of Vizio smart TVs who unknowingly let the company invade their privacy by collecting data about their TV habits, according to a complaint filed by the FDS and the New Jersey Attorney General. The company made sure the tracking software was installed remotely on older models as well, and was generally disguised as “Smart Interactivity”. The function allegedly “enables program offers and suggestions”

Vizio then gave away user IPs and sold demographics and other information, including household size and home ownership, to advertisers and other third-parties.

“On a second-by-second basis, Vizio collected a selection of pixels on the screen that it matched to a database of TV, movie, and commercial content,” reads the FTC website. “What”s more, Vizio identified viewing data from cable or broadband service providers, set-top boxes, streaming devices, DVD players, and over-the-air broadcasts. Add it all up and Vizio captured as many as 100 billion data points each day from millions of TVs.”

The US government has confirmed Vizio violated the FTC act and the court decided Vizio must “prominently disclose and obtain affirmative express consent for its data collection and sharing practices”. As a result, the company accepted a settlement by agreeing to stop tracking viewing histories, request user consent for data collection, delete the illegally collected information and implement a privacy program. Moreover, Vizio has to pay $2.2 million as a penalty to the FCT and the New Jersey Attorney General.

tags


Author



Right now

Top posts

The Holiday Guide to Tech Support: Fixing the Family Computer

The Holiday Guide to Tech Support: Fixing the Family Computer

November 24, 2021

2 min read
Bitdefender Celebrates 20 Years of Cybersecurity Leadership

Bitdefender Celebrates 20 Years of Cybersecurity Leadership

November 04, 2021

3 min read
Bitdefender Study Reveals How Consumers Like (and Dislike) Managing Passwords

Bitdefender Study Reveals How Consumers Like (and Dislike) Managing Passwords

October 26, 2021

3 min read
What are drive-by download attacks and how do you prevent them?

What are drive-by download attacks and how do you prevent them?

October 25, 2021

2 min read
Criminals Can't Wait to Add Your IoT Device to Their DDoS Networks

Criminals Can't Wait to Add Your IoT Device to Their DDoS Networks

October 22, 2021

2 min read
Six in 10 Consumers Faced a Cyber Threat in 2021, New Bitdefender Study Reveals

Six in 10 Consumers Faced a Cyber Threat in 2021, New Bitdefender Study Reveals

October 20, 2021

3 min read

FOLLOW US ON

SOCIAL MEDIA


You might also like

Common Credentials Criminals Use in IoT Dictionary Attacks Revealed Common Credentials Criminals Use in IoT Dictionary Attacks Revealed
Silviu STAHIE

November 30, 2021

3 min read
Interpol Busts 1,000 Cyber Crooks and Recovers $27M in Massive Fraud Crackdown Interpol Busts 1,000 Cyber Crooks and Recovers $27M in Massive Fraud Crackdown
Filip TRUȚĂ

November 29, 2021

2 min read
Social media firms will be forced to unmask online trolls, says Australia Social media firms will be forced to unmask online trolls, says Australia
Graham CLULEY

November 29, 2021

2 min read