On Monday the Federal Trade Commission announced a $2.2 million settlement with VISIO, one of the world’s leading providers of smart TVs. The deal settles charges by the FTC and New Jersey’s Attorney General that VISIO collected data from 11 million consumer TVs, without consumers’ knowledge or consent. According to the complaint, the secretly collected data included second-by-second viewing data and IP addresses, to which data aggregators added demographic information, including age, sex, income, marital status, household size, education, home ownership, and household value – a covert data cornucopia, tailor-made for targeted advertising.
But in her concurring opinion, Acting Chair Maureen Ohlhausen (recently appointed by President Trump to lead the FTC) signaled a retreat from FTC enforcement based on unfair practices.
So, while we’re watching our TVs, and our TVs are “watching” us, who’s watching out for our privacy & security interests with the Internet of Things?