Your smart TV may be spying on you: Here’s how to stop it

TV maker Vizio has agreed to a more than $2 million settlement with the Federal Trade Commission after it allegedly collected the personal viewing habits of comsumers who bought a Vizio smart TV.

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TV maker Vizio has agreed to a more than $2 million settlement with the Federal Trade Commission after it allegedly collected the personal viewing habits of comsumers who bought a Vizio smart TV.

If you have a Vizio smart TV, your viewing history may have been collected without your knowledge.
The company has agreed to pay $2.2 million to settle charges by the Federal Trade Commission and the Office of the New Jersey Attorney General.

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Vizio was charged with installing software on its TVs to collect viewing data on 11 million consumers.

Beginning in 2014, the FTC alleges that Vizio made TVs that automatically tracked what people were watching and even installed tracking software remotely on older models.

Examples of viewing data collected include the identity of your broadcast, cable or satellite television provider, television programs and commercials viewed and unique identifiers about your TV, including the IP address

Vizio then sold the data it gathered on consumers to advertisers and other groups, the FTC said.

Prior to the resolution with the FTC, Vizio said it began sending onscreen notifications to inform users about viewing data collection, reminding them of the choice to opt out.

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To settle the case, Vizio agreed to stop unauthorized tracking, prominently disclose its TV viewing collection practices, get consumers’ express consent before collecting and sharing viewing information, delete data collected before March 2016, and put a privacy program in place that evaluates Vizio’s practices.

To make sure that your Vizio smart TV isn't spying on you, you'll need to go to your settings and turn off "Smart Interactivity."

For non-Vizio TV sets, which may also be spying on you, check your menu settings to turn off the tracking feature.

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