Reading privacy agreements is a boring, but crucial way to protect yourself. You wouldn't want just anyone to, say, give away access to your IP address! But what happens when a company does exactly that without your knowledge?
According to Gizmodo, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced recently that Vizio was to pay $2.2 million in fines for tracking and sharing private data without its customers' consent. Since February 2014, this process was carried out via its TVs' "Smart Interactivity" feature, which secretly tracked customers' viewing data.
The biggest concern that emerged from this investigation was that Vizio had been selling customer IP addresses, which enabled third-party advertisers to target customers depending on their viewing activity. Although this practice is legal and commonplace, the fact that Vizio didn't seek consent from its users lead to the FTC suit.
According to Gizmodo, current Vizio owners should know that "while the court order requires Vizio to delete all data collected prior to March 2016, it doesn’t require them to stop tracking data — just to more adequately get consent for doing so."
To learn more about this story, click here.
Readers, do you think the fines imposed on Vizio are a fair punishment? What steps do you take to ensure your data remains private? Let us know in the comments below.