Vizio has agreed to pay some $17 million in an effort to settle a class action suit over privacy laws, according to the terms filed in court.

The case revolved around consumer complaints that Vizio was tracking TV viewers by default, without getting consumer permission, and sharing data with third-parties.  The data was used, according to the complaint, for targeted advertising.  First reported by Pro Publica, the complaints charged Vizio with violation the Video Privacy Protection Act.  The Act prohibits video providers from disclosing “personally identifiable” information about viewing habits without consent.

The company said the info wasn’t personally identifiable, since it was in the form of IP addresses, zip codes, etc. and that the law didn’t apply to manufacturers.  A judge disagreed and paved the way for the potential settlement.

Get this though:  If approved, MediaPost reports, the lawyers behind the class action suit would get $5.6 million.  How much would the 16 million Vizio owners submitting claims get?  62 cents.

$5.6m for the lawyers.  62 cents for the consumer impacted.


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