State: TV maker improperly tracked consumers' viewing habits

Markets Associated Press

New Jersey officials say television manufacturer Vizio and a subsidiary will pay $2.5 million to settle allegations that they surreptitiously tracked consumers' viewing habits and sold the information to marketing companies and data brokers.

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The settlement announced Monday ends parallel investigations conducted by the state and the Federal Trade Commission into the use of data-collecting technology on Vizio's smart TVs.

The FTC will get $1.5 million and the state will receive $1 million. The state will suspend $300,000 in civil penalties included in its settlement amount if Vizio complies with the agreement.

According to legal documents, Irvine, California-based Vizio and a subsidiary manufactured smart TVs that captured second-by-second information about video displayed on the sets.

The data was sold to marketing companies and data brokers to measure viewing habits, such as the effectiveness of ad campaigns.

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This story has been corrected to show the settlement was announced Monday, not Tuesday.