Yes, your TV really is watching you… and reporting your habits to advertisers

Thursday, November 19, 2015
By Paul Martin

by: Daniel Barker
Thursday, November 19, 2015

Once upon a time, watching TV was a one-way proposition – until Vizio came along…

Vizio is one of the most popular makers of “smart TVs,” but buying one may not be a very smart thing to do. That’s because Vizio Smart TVs are designed to track your viewing habits so that the company can sell the information to advertisers – along with your IP address – who in turn can use that information to gain access to your home network. And what’s even worse is the fact that these tracking features are vulnerable to hackers.

If it all sounds rather Orwellian, you’re not alone in thinking so.


Vizio’s actions appear to go beyond what others are doing in the emerging interactive television industry. Vizio rivals Samsung and LG Electronics only track users’ viewing habits if customers choose to turn the feature on. And unlike Vizio, they don’t appear to provide the information in a form that allows advertisers to reach users on other devices.

Vizio’s technology works by analyzing snippets of the shows you’re watching, whether on traditional television or streaming Internet services such as Netflix. Vizio determines the date, time, channel of programs — as well as whether you watched them live or recorded. The viewing patterns are then connected your IP address – the Internet address that can be used to identify every device in a home, from your TV to a phone.

By working with data brokers such as Experian, Vizio can “connect your IP address with your gender, age, income, and interests” – even your name, it seems. This “enhanced data” can then be sold to advertisers who can then track every device connected to your home’s IP address.

The Rest…HERE

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