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kennejima / Flickr Creative Commons

Vizio, one of the world's largest makers of smart TVs, is agreeing to pay a $2.2 million fine to settle charges brought by the FTC and New Jersey Attorney General for collecting viewing data on 11 million TVs without their knowledge. As part of the settlement, Vizio must obtain consent for collecting and sharing data and implement a privacy program, according to the FTC.

Why it matters: As more devices are connected to the Internet and each other, electronics makers are able to collect an enormous amount of data about users, from TV-watching habits to a variety of specific activities taking place on a consumer's home network. Some TVs have even been found to be recording living room conversations. That data can then be combined with demographic data, such as age and income, to form a fairly detailed view of a customer. In this case, Vizio allegedly sold information to third parties to, for example, target ads to people across multiple devices, according to the complaint. In other words, pay attention to those privacy policies when you buy new devices.

Go deeper

House passes $1.9 trillion COVID relief package

Photo: Screenshot via C-SPAN

The House approved President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief package on a 219-212 vote early Saturday morning, sending it to the Senate for a possible rewrite before it gets to Biden's desk.

The big picture: The vote was a critical first step for the package, which includes $1,400 cash payments for many Americans, a national vaccination program, ramped-up COVID testing and contact tracing, state and local funding and money to help schools reopen.

10 hours ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: FDA advisory panel endorses J&J COVID vaccine for emergency use — About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.