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Vizio calls its data-sharing program “Smart Interactivity.” It’s a feature that tracks what you are watching and when, and whether or not you are watching live or pre-recorded programs.This data is then sold to advertisers, so that, according to Vizio, companies can make “better-informed decisions regarding content production, programming and advertising.” Smart Interactivity is activated by default when you install your Vizio TV.
Vizio takes it a step further by tracking your IP address.
For those who don’t know, your IP address is a unique code that pinpoints the precise location of your device within a network.
When Vizio sells data to advertisers, it shows your IP address along with information about your viewing habits.
This allows advertisers to locate other devices in the same IP address.
In other words, Vizio sells your data to advertisers, then allows them to access you through any connected device in your home, be it your computer, tablet, or cell phone.
Most companies, including internet service providers and other TV companies, encrypt IP addresses so that any data they collect cannot be associated with your household.
In fact, laws like the Video Privacy Protection Act prevent cable TV and video rental companies from selling any information about your viewing habits whatsoever.
For whatever reason, Vizio thinks these laws don’t apply to them.
So far, they haven’t generated significant revenue from the sale of viewing data, but they are collaborating with data brokers like Neustar to offer well-rounded data packages to advertisers.
Ellen Vessels, Staff Writer at The American Genius, is respected for her wide range of work, with a focus on generational marketing and business trends.