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Today, Vizio Inc. settled a lawsuit brought by the Federal Trade Commission and the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office over the company’s unauthorized collection of consumer viewing data gathered from 11 million Vizio smart TVs. The company agreed to pay $2.2 million to settle the charges.
The following can be attributed to Dallas Harris, Policy Fellow at Public Knowledge:
“Public Knowledge commends the FTC for stepping in to protect consumers’ privacy in this clear case of deception. Most importantly, the FTC has determined that information such as consumer viewing history is in fact sensitive information that should require a consumer’s affirmative express consent before being collected. This places the FTC’s privacy framework squarely in line with the broadband privacy rules recently passed by the FCC.
“Efforts to use the Congressional Review Act to repeal the FCC’s rules would create a double standard, where ISPs would be allowed to collect and use a person’s IP addresses, Mac addresses, personal information including a user’s age, sex, and income level, and even a consumer’s viewing habits -- and all without consumer consent. Congress should ensure that these privacy protections remain in place.”
You may view the announcement here.