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  1. #1


    Is my Vizio Spying on Me?

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    I remember my Tivo days. In the early days, my DVR would get upset if it wasn't connected to a phone line. Tivo wanted to say it was connecting to download guide data, but it really was more than that.

    These days most everything is connected to the Internet and is constantly reporting back to the "Mother Ship", all sorts of data. The problem lies with that is done with that data and Vizio has gotten called out on their use of owner's viewing data.

    The company has just agreed to pay $2.2 million to state and federal agencies for collecting viewing data without consumer's consent. The FTC and New Jersey State Attorney's Office claims that about 11 million of the company's Smart TVs had software installed on them to collect and share potentially sensitive user data. It further claims that Vizio was selling that data to companies that specialize in targeted advertising. The data collected included ANYTHING that was being watched on the display no matter if it was from a cable or satellite box, over-the-air, DVD, or via a streaming service.

    In a statement, acting FTC chair Maureen Ohlhausen was quoted:

    Evidence shows that consumers do not expect televisions to collect and share information about what they watch," "Consumers who are aware of such practices may choose a different television or change the television’s settings to reflect their preferences. Therefore, I have reason to believe that this information is material to consumers and the failure to disclose it was deceptive or misleading.
    This fine is based on the Cable Privacy Act of 1985 which Congress passed to protect consumer's viewing privacy.

    You can read the whole story on Vizio Settles Smart TV Data Collection Complaint | Multichannel

    Is your TV spying on you too?

  2. #2
    Senior Member TrippleJ's Avatar
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    I suspect anything that tracks something electronically is spying on you.. If you have a laptop, computer, tv, whatever with "smart" features as well as camera, big brother (whoever that is) is watching you.

    That is why on laptops, you put the electrical tape or post it note covering the camera eye.
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  3. #3


    Quote Originally Posted by TrippleJ View Post
    I suspect anything that tracks something electronically is spying on you.. If you have a laptop, computer, tv, whatever with "smart" features as well as camera, big brother (whoever that is) is watching you.

    That is why on laptops, you put the electrical tape or post it note covering the camera eye.
    Very true. My wife keeps one of those small Post It tabs over the camera of her work laptop. That way if she has an early morning meeting, she doesn't have to get up super-early to fix herself up. You never know when the person who's running the meeting might activate the "tele" part of the teleconference.

  4. #4


    I get why all these companies are collecting data, as it means additional cash that hopefully gets put back into R&D. However, they should inform the consumer and offer an opt out.

    That's the way it should work in my world, anyway. I usually find that my world and reality are two completely different things.

  5. #5
    Senior Member TrippleJ's Avatar
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    Data means $$$


    Main:
    Samsung UN75F8000 LED TV, NAD T-777 (7.2 Receiver), Oppo 103 Blu Ray Player, Sony PS4 Gaming Console, Panamax MR-5100 Surge Protection, 7 Paradigm Reference series 8" in ceiling speakers (AMS-150R) - 30 degree tilting speakers, 2 Paradigm SE Subs. Pictures here.

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