Vizio's Smart TVs spied on their ownersIf you owned a Vizio Smart TV any time after February 2014, it might have been spying on you. A complaint filed by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said the smart TVs used software that spied on owners' viewing habits without their permission. Vizio then sold that data to third parties. Vizio has agreed pay the FTC $1.5 million and delete all data collected before March 2016.
■Class discussion: Are you surprised that your television could be used collect and sell information about you? Why or why not? What companies gather and sell data about you? How widespread is the practice? Is there anywhere you go, anything you buy or anything you do online that isn’t tracked by some computer program, camera or electronic device? How could that information be used to control your decisions? Where does the term “Big Brother” come from?