Selling your data

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Selling your data

Post by Witness »

Federal Trade Commission wrote:What Vizio was doing behind the TV screen

Consumers have bought more than 11 million internet-connected Vizio televisions since 2010. But according to a complaint filed by the FTC and the New Jersey Attorney General, consumers didn’t know that while they were watching their TVs, Vizio was watching them. The lawsuit challenges the company’s tracking practices and offers insights into how established consumer protection principles apply to smart technology.

Starting in 2014, Vizio made TVs that automatically tracked what consumers were watching and transmitted that data back to its servers. Vizio even retrofitted older models by installing its tracking software remotely. All of this, the FTC and AG allege, was done without clearly telling consumers or getting their consent.

What did Vizio know about what was going on in the privacy of consumers’ homes? On a second-by-second basis, Vizio collected a selection of pixels on the screen that it matched to a database of TV, movie, and commercial content. What’s more, Vizio identified viewing data from cable or broadband service providers, set-top boxes, streaming devices, DVD players, and over-the-air broadcasts. Add it all up and Vizio captured as many as 100 billion data points each day from millions of TVs.

Vizio then turned that mountain of data into cash by selling consumers’ viewing histories to advertisers and others. And let’s be clear: We’re not talking about summary information about national viewing trends. According to the complaint, Vizio got personal. The company provided consumers’ IP addresses to data aggregators, who then matched the address with an individual consumer or household. Vizio’s contracts with third parties prohibited the re-identification of consumers and households by name, but allowed a host of other personal details – for example, sex, age, income, marital status, household size, education, and home ownership. And Vizio permitted these companies to track and target its consumers across devices.

That’s what Vizio was up to behind the screen, but what was the company telling consumers? Not much, according to the complaint.
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Rob Lister
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Re: Selling your data

Post by Rob Lister »

Samsung does the same damn thing with their smart tv. Do not connect your tv to ethernet or wifi. Instead use Roku, a thief you can trust/

Bottom line is ...
What you're watching, when you're watching, how you're watching is valuable. Vizio was dumb. They got caught. But every IP streamer does it. At least I assume so.

So much so that I don't really understand why Neilson is still in business.
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Re: Selling your data

Post by Anaxagoras »

Rob Lister wrote:So much so that I don't really understand why Neilson is still in business.
Like the Dow Jones Industrial Average, they are still in business because they are the most recognized name in the business (and the oldest), not because they have the best product.

The DJIA actually makes no sense as an indicator of the stock market as a whole, and it is based on share price, not market cap.