Your smart TV may be spying on you if it’s manufactured by Vizio. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a big fan of the brand. I’m on my second set, a 65 inch E Series. That doesn’t mean I like the creepy fact that the set apparently sends back details of what I’m watching regardless of source. That little tidbit came in a story in Fortune about Vizio’s upcoming IPO:
Vizio uses technology integrated into its televisions to determine what a user is watching, regardless of the source. In other words, Vizio knows what you’re watching even if it’s a DVD being played on a gaming console or show being watched via cable TV.
Vizio offers what it calls “smart interactivity.” It’s all in the name of customization that alleges to cater to the individual customer. Fortunately, there is a way to turn it off. Vizio instructions to that effect are here. I can understand (although not approve of) a cable or satellite provider tracking its shows, but DVDs and other delivery mechanisms?
It reminds me of the story about Samsung smart TVs actually listening in on conversations through a digital assistant. Anyway, I’ll be disconnecting my set later on this evening. Any libraries or organizations that use Vizio TVs as displays should take note.