Feb 6, 2017

FTC fines Vizio for secretly collecting viewer data on TVs

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.

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Coronavirus spreads to more countries, and South Korea ups its case count

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. South Korea's confirmed cases jumped from 204 on Friday to 433 on Saturday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,362 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 37 mins ago - Health

Centrist Democrats beseech 2020 candidates: "Stand up to Bernie" or Trump wins

Bernie Sanders rallies in Las Vegas, Nevada on Feb. 21. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Center-left think tank Third Way urgently called on the Democratic front-runners of the 2020 presidential election to challenge Sen. Bernie Sanders on the South Carolina debate stage on Feb. 25, in a memo provided to Axios' Mike Allen on Saturday.

What they're saying: "At the Las Vegas debate ... you declined to really challenge Senator Sanders. If you repeat this strategy at the South Carolina debate this week, you could hand the nomination to Sanders, likely dooming the Democratic Party — and the nation — to Trump and sweeping down-ballot Republican victories in November."

Situational awareness

Warren Buffett. Photo: Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Warren Buffett releases annual letter, reassures investors about future of Berkshire Hathaway
  2. Greyhound bars immigration sweeps
  3. U.S. military officially stops offensive operations in Afghanistan
  4. America's future looks a lot like Nevada
  5. Centrist Democrats beseech 2020 candidates: "Stand up to Bernie" or Trump wins