Vizio Smart TVs track your viewing habits, info is sold to third parties
Owners of Smart TVs manufactured by California-based consumer electronics company Vizio should be aware that their viewing habits are being tracked and that information sold to third parties (“partners”).
Vizio’s competitors Samsung and LG Electronics can also track users’ viewing habits via their smart TV offerings, ProPublica’s Julia Angwin pointed out, but the feature has to be explicitly turned on by the users.
The collection of Viewing Data by Vizio’s Smart TVs is turned on by default, as is the Smart Interactivity feature that manages it.
According to the latest numbers, Vizio sold over 10 million Smart TVs.
While, in theory, IP addresses are not personal information, they actually can be linked to individuals if there is enough information (specific attributes like age, profession, etc.) tied to it.
According to Angwin’s sources, the company has been working with data broker Neustar to combine viewing data with this type of information about the user.