The Watcher Becomes The Watchee

If you happen to be a fan of films like Alex Proyas I, Robot or Brad Bird’s Tomorrowland a fully automated home connected through the internet may sound very appealing to you when you consider making your dream home.

The thing is, what happens when you aren’t the only one sharing your fully digital fortress. In the article Vizio to Pay $2.2 Million for Collecting Smart TV User Data Without Consent by Joe Otterson. Otterson details how television manufactures specifically Vizio uses smart televisions to tap into user data such as DVD’s watched, amount of cable T.V. watched, over-the-air broadcast, etc. The manufacture then turns around and sells the data to various third party companies for target advertising.TV.jpg

It seems as if everyone wants to know what you’re doing and watching not just on the internet but also in the comfort of your living room simply trying to enjoy some good quality television in 1080p.

The case against Vizio has been ongoing since February of 2014. It wasn’t until 2016 that the company was ordered to pay $2.2 million to the FTC and the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs for violation of consumer consent. The company has also been told to delete whatever data it had collected prior to March 1, 2016. Although Vizio has been the only one caught it is likely that other manufactures such as LG and Samsung have been collecting user data as well.

What can you do if you suspect your smart TV is collecting data about you? Simply disconnect it from the internet. In all honestly it isn’t like you get much out of the thing anyhow. Most of the time it doesn’t do what its suppose to and when it does its usually slow to do it. When or if you decide to do that use an extension such as Google’s Chromecast or any modern videogame console such as a Play Station or Xbox to stream movies or search the web.


Photo Credit: Instagram @sstaton1984


Otterson, Joe. “Vizio to Pay $2.2 Million for Collecting Smart TV User Data Without Consent.” TheWrap. TheWrap, 06 Feb. 2017. Web. 13 Feb. 2017.

Beres, Damon. “How To Stop Your Smart TV From Eavesdropping On You.” The Huffington Post., n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2017.

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UNT Eagle Strategies

Class members of the social media class in the Mayborn School of Journalism