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US TV company Vizio has been fined $2.2 million (£1.76 million) for illegally collecting customer data using its smart TVs.

The firm installed software on 11 million of its smart sets that tracked viewing histories without consumers' knowledge. This data was sold to advertisers to help target adverts better to whoever was watching.

This data was turned into a "mountain of cash", according to regulatory body the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

In a blog post, the FTC explains that Vizio started making its history-tracking smart sets in 2014, and added the same tech to older models using a software update.

"On a second-by-second basis, Vizio collected a selection of pixels on the screen that it matched to a database of TV, movie and commercial content," the post reads.

"What's more, Vizio identified viewing data from cable or broadband service providers, set-top boxes, streaming devices, DVD players, and over-the-air broadcasts. Add it all up and Vizio captured as many as 100 billion data points each day from millions of TVs."

As well as the fine, Vizio will have to implement a privacy programme that regularly monitors its use of consumer data, and to delete most of the data it harvested.

Source: FTC

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