If you’re one of the many people who own a Vizio Smart TV, you might receive a message letting you know your device is spying on you.
In a 2015 investigation, ProPublica exposed Vizio for illegally gathering and tracking your viewing habits and sharing your seemingly private information with advertisers so they could find you on your other devices to serve you ads.
According to Vizio, the tracking is called "Smart Interactivity" and it collects the way you consume content along with your IP address.
After the ProPublica investigation, there were two lawsuits in March and July 2017 against Vizio including violation of the Video Privacy Protection Act and illegal wiretapping.
Despite the lawsuits filed against them Vizio continued to argue that the collection practices used were completely anonymous.
Vizio settled with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for $2.2 million in February 2017. The preliminary settlement was scheduled for September 12, but both parties are asking for an extension to make sure all affected Vizio consumers are aware of what is happening and how they can become a part of the lawsuit.
As part of the agreement, Vizio must send on-screen notifications to affected Vizio users about the class-action lawsuit.
"The Parties are developing a class notice program with direct notification to the class through VIZIO Smart TV displays, which requires testing to make sure any TV notice can be properly displayed and functions as intended," according to court documents obtained by The Hollywood Reporter. "The additional time requested will allow the parties to confirm that the notice program proposed in the motion for preliminary approval is workable and satisfies applicable legal standards."
According to Tom’s Guide, the new date is sometime between September 12 and October 3. If you’ve owned a Vizio Smart TV sine 2015 and are one of the people who had their data collected without knowing it, you might receive a notification informing you about the forthcoming lawsuit.
How to turn off Vizio Smart TV Interactivity setting
As a result of the different lawsuits against Vizio, the company has a page that explicitly lets users know how to opt out of the Smart Interactivity feature that collects viewing information.