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Is your TV watching you? Indiana man files suit against Vizio over data collection

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Feb. 19, 2016) – An Indiana man says his TV is following his every move—and sending the collected information about what he’s watching to third parties without his permission.

He’s filed a class-action lawsuit against Vizio in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana. The lawsuit from Trent Strader claims the company’s “Smart Interactivity software” takes personal information about viewing habits and sells it to advertisers and data brokers.

According to the lawsuit, the information allows advertisers to push “targeted ads” to electronic devices on the same network as the Vizio TV. The lawsuit said Strader and other Vizio TV owners wouldn’t have purchased the products if they “had known about it and that they were being actively monitored.”

“Consumers need to understand that if they connect this TV to the Internet, Vizio is collecting information and sending it to advertisers,” Lynn Toops, an attorney at Cohen & Malad who’s representing Strader in the case, told our media partners at the Indy Star.

California-based Vizio faces similar legal challenges in other states over the technology. Toops said Strader’s lawsuit would likely be bundled with the other cases and heard alongside them in one central court.