VIZIO, a television manufacturer, has been accused of violating laws by installing software on their televisions without consumers' knowledge or consent that collected viewing data. The company sold over 11 million internet-connected televisions since 2010, and since February 2014, the televisions were designed to continuously track consumers' viewing habits and transmit the data to VIZIO through the proprietary ACR software, which was turned on by default.
The Federal Trade Commission and the Office of the New Jersey Attorney General have charged VIZIO with violating Section 5(a) of the FTC Act and Section 56:8-2 of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. The representations made by VIZIO were not clear or prominent enough to alert consumers to their data collection practices, which included the sale of licenses. The company's practices were considered deceptive, including hidden information and misrepresentations, which misled consumers into allowing VIZIO to collect and sell their viewing data.