Vizio TVs track what you watch





  • I thought it was already accepted that literally every "smart device" tracked your activities as much as it could?

    In another shocking reveal, the NSA spies on people.



  • @anonymous234 said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    I thought it was already accepted that literally every "smart device" tracked your activities as much as it could?

    In another shocking reveal, the NSA spies on people.

    Yea, but most of them at least pretend to anonymize it. These guys basically took all your viewing habits and sold it to advertisers without anonymizing it.


  • sockdevs

    @dangeRuss said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    @anonymous234 said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    I thought it was already accepted that literally every "smart device" tracked your activities as much as it could?

    In another shocking reveal, the NSA spies on people.

    Yea, but most of them at least pretend to anonymize it. These guys basically took all your viewing habits and sold it to advertisers without anonymizing it.

    and if you expected them to do anything less i have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.



  • @accalia said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    @dangeRuss said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    @anonymous234 said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    I thought it was already accepted that literally every "smart device" tracked your activities as much as it could?

    In another shocking reveal, the NSA spies on people.

    Yea, but most of them at least pretend to anonymize it. These guys basically took all your viewing habits and sold it to advertisers without anonymizing it.

    and if you expected them to do anything less i have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

    I did. I expected them to have a least some restraint.

    Also I would not expect a TV (that doesn't have access to the cable tuner) to be able to take all the pixels, create some sort of MD5 out of them and send that to the cloud to match it to whatever show you're watching. That's pretty genius and not something an average user would expect your TV to be able to do.


  • Impossible Mission - B

    Consumers have bought more than 11 million internet-connected Vizio televisions since 2010. But according to a complaint filed by the FTC and the New Jersey Attorney General, consumers didn’t know that while they were watching their TVs, Vizio was watching them.

    ...

    Vizio then turned that mountain of data into cash by selling consumers’ viewing histories to advertisers and others. And let’s be clear: We’re not talking about summary information about national viewing trends. According to the complaint, Vizio got personal. The company provided consumers’ IP addresses to data aggregators, who then matched the address with an individual consumer or household. Vizio’s contracts with third parties prohibited the re-identification of consumers and households by name, but allowed a host of other personal details – for example, sex, age, income, marital status, household size, education, and home ownership. And Vizio permitted these companies to track and target its consumers across devices.

    ...

    The order also includes a $1.5 million payment to the FTC and an additional civil penalty to New Jersey for a total of $2.2 million.

    11 million victims, $2.7 million in penalties. That comes out to less than 25 cents per victim, after running a scam that made them "mountains of cash." That's not even the proverbial "slap on the wrist!"

    ISTM we need a law with real teeth to deal with stuff like this. It would be very simple: Any business that is found to have made money by breaking the law must be subject to a penalty no less than 100% of the gross revenue brought in by their illegal acts.

    Since all the laws these days have to have some sort of snappy name, let's call it The Crime Does Not Pay Act.


  • sockdevs

    @masonwheeler said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    ISTM we need a law with real teeth to deal with stuff like this. It would be very simple: Any business that is found to have made money by breaking the law must be subject to a penalty no less than 1000% of the gross revenue brought in by their illegal acts.

    FTFY

    @masonwheeler said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    Since all the laws these days have to have some sort of snappy name, let's call it The Crime Does Not Pay Act.

    Hear Hear!

    I'd vote for that!



  • @dangeRuss said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    Also I would not expect a TV (that doesn't have access to the cable tuner) to be able to take all the pixels, create some sort of MD5 out of them and send that to the cloud to match it to whatever show you're watching. That's pretty genius evil and not something an average user would expect your TV to be able to do

    FTFY



  • @masonwheeler said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    Since all the laws these days have to have some sort of snappy name, let's call it The Crime Does Not Pay Act.

    And after our current lawmakers vote for this, it will become The Crime Pays Act. Better know as the Bend Over Act.



  • Speaking of crimes like that - I just bought something off amazon - 2 pack of freeze dried dog food for the price of one. Guess what? I only received the one. I contacted amazon and they gave me a 50% refund, so basically I got one for 50% off, but it's also close dated (expiration date in about a month).

    Now I don't know if the refund will come from the third party selling this or from amazon, but this vendor just managed to unload some expiring dog food at 50% off for the customers who notice and 0% off for those who don't (of which I assume there will be a large # ).

    Not sure if amazon will do anything about this. The merchant claims that amazon screwed up the listing and it was supposed to be for a single pack, but I'm pretty sure they're bullshitting.


  • area_can

    @masonwheeler said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    Since all the laws these days have to have some sort of snappy name, let's call it The Crime Does Not Pay Act.

    I think you might have better luck if you call it something like the FREEDOM Act :trollface:



  • @bb36e said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    @masonwheeler said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    Since all the laws these days have to have some sort of snappy name, let's call it The Crime Does Not Pay Act.

    I think you might have better luck if you call it something like the FREEDOM Act :trollface:

    Call it the Affordable Buyer Need Not Beware Patriot act.



  • @masonwheeler said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    Consumers have bought more than 11 million internet-connected Vizio televisions since 2010. But according to a complaint filed by the FTC and the New Jersey Attorney General, consumers didn’t know that while they were watching their TVs, Vizio was watching them.

    ...

    Vizio then turned that mountain of data into cash by selling consumers’ viewing histories to advertisers and others. And let’s be clear: We’re not talking about summary information about national viewing trends. According to the complaint, Vizio got personal. The company provided consumers’ IP addresses to data aggregators, who then matched the address with an individual consumer or household. Vizio’s contracts with third parties prohibited the re-identification of consumers and households by name, but allowed a host of other personal details – for example, sex, age, income, marital status, household size, education, and home ownership. And Vizio permitted these companies to track and target its consumers across devices.

    ...

    The order also includes a $1.5 million payment to the FTC and an additional civil penalty to New Jersey for a total of $2.2 million.

    11 million victims, $2.7 million in penalties. That comes out to less than 25 cents per victim, after running a scam that made them "mountains of cash." That's not even the proverbial "slap on the wrist!"

    You are not a patriot! I bet you are a libtard too

    ISTM we need a law with real teeth to deal with stuff like this. It would be very simple: Any business that is found to have made money by breaking the law must be subject to a penalty no less than 100% of the gross revenue brought in by their illegal acts.

    Unless said business creates JOBZZZZ, besides FTC is now in charge of protecting the real customers, i.e. the businesses who pay them

    Since all the laws these days have to have some sort of snappy name, let's call it The Crime Does Not Pay Act.

    Protect Customers Hurting Businesses Act



  • @dangeRuss said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    this vendor just managed to unload some expiring dog food at 50% off

    I don't see anything wrong with that, food businesses do it all the time? It's not very honest of them not to have mentioned it in the original offer (at least when it's an offer in a supermarket you can check the packaging before buying, which is obviously more difficult on amazon), but as long as it is not expired when you buy it (or the expiration date is so close that you can't be expected to have used it by then), there is (probably) nothing illegal here, and it's only marginally wrong morally in my book.

    (the 2-for-1 which is actually only 1-for-1 is clearly a different issue, but if someone doesn't notice that they get half of what they paid for, they are stupid -- and it seems that at least the vendor/amazon have no problem recognizing the error here, so it is difficult to really see that as a con)



  • @remi I think it depends on what the date actually marks. If it's a 'Sell By' or 'Use By', then I would think it's illegal to sell it after that date. If it's a 'Best Before' however, then it's OK to sell it after that date.

    There was a radio campaign on the radio towards the end of last year here in the United Kingdom of Great Englandland aimed at educating the population about the difference between 'Use By' and 'Best Before'. Basically, it was 'Eat food after the 'Best Before' and it'll taste crap but probably be fine. But eating food after the 'Use By' is Very Extremely Very Bad™'.



  • @remi said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    @dangeRuss said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    this vendor just managed to unload some expiring dog food at 50% off

    I don't see anything wrong with that, food businesses do it all the time? It's not very honest of them not to have mentioned it in the original offer (at least when it's an offer in a supermarket you can check the packaging before buying, which is obviously more difficult on amazon), but as long as it is not expired when you buy it (or the expiration date is so close that you can't be expected to have used it by then), there is (probably) nothing illegal here, and it's only marginally wrong morally in my book.

    I didn't expect it to be so close dated, and it is a Use By date, which means there's no way I can use it by then (I don't normally feed my dog freeze dried, it's usually for treats).

    (the 2-for-1 which is actually only 1-for-1 is clearly a different issue, but if someone doesn't notice that they get half of what they paid for, they are stupid -- and it seems that at least the vendor/amazon have no problem recognizing the error here, so it is difficult to really see that as a con)

    I kind of keep on top of this, but not all the time. Sometimes by the time the item arrives (or by the time you open the box) you don't remember what you bought anymore. Since amazon is usually pretty good with this stuff you would think that you wouldn't need to check.

    I believe this item was shipped through FBA, and it's interesting that Amazon didn't notice that there's only a single bag in a listing for a 2 pack, but then again, I don't think they look into stuff like that.

    While I don't totally buy his story, I have had Amazon do similar things to my listings (probably due to other vendors). I sold a 6 pack of photo paper, and they kept changing the title to a single pack (and other vendors were listing their single packs for a lower price under the same listing, even though the description said 6 pack).

    This is what they wrote back to me:

    I am sorry if there was any misunderstanding, from my end it looks like amazon made a mistake with the title and it was supposed to be a single bag, if you look at the other listings its the same price and only one bag.
    I see that you received a credit for half the other.
    I hope this sorts it all out.
    Ben

    Sounds like BS to me, considering it's expiring. I got back half my $, and also a $5 courtesy credit. I assume the money will come from the vendor, but the courtesy credit will come from amazon.



  • @dangeRuss said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    I expected them to have a least some restraint.



  • @masonwheeler said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    according to a complaint filed by the FTC and the New Jersey Attorney General, consumers didn’t know that while they were watching their TVs, Vizio was watching them.

    rms says: told you so



  • @dangeRuss said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    The merchant claims that amazon screwed up the listing and it was supposed to be for a single pack, but I'm pretty sure they're bullshitting.

    louis ck bill gates – [02:19..02:40] 02:52
    — Muthukumaran Kathirvelu



  • @dangeRuss said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    I didn't expect it to be so close dated, and it is a Use By date, which means there's no way I can use it by then (I don't normally feed my dog freeze dried, it's usually for treats).

    If it's something that can be used as dog food (as opposed to something that is explicitly marketed as treats), I still don't see anything wrong with their behaviour (they could in good faith expect you to use all the package by the use-by date). It's not something that would give me a lot of faith into the vendor, for sure, but... meh.

    Now, with the rest put together, it certainly would put me off this vendor. Not enough to complain, because there doesn't seem like there is a real ground for that, but enough to look for another one the next time I'd buy something!

    (and btw, even though it's an use-by date, is it really something that will become bad quickly? If it's dried, I would expect it to have a rather long life, so even off by a few days, or even weeks, might not matter that much? Manufacturers tend to be overly conservative in their dates, just to cover their asses (can you cover more than one ass at a time?))



  • @remi said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    @dangeRuss said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    I didn't expect it to be so close dated, and it is a Use By date, which means there's no way I can use it by then (I don't normally feed my dog freeze dried, it's usually for treats).

    If it's something that can be used as dog food (as opposed to something that is explicitly marketed as treats), I still don't see anything wrong with their behaviour (they could in good faith expect you to use all the package by the use-by date). It's not something that would give me a lot of faith into the vendor, for sure, but... meh.

    Now, with the rest put together, it certainly would put me off this vendor. Not enough to complain, because there doesn't seem like there is a real ground for that, but enough to look for another one the next time I'd buy something!

    I would definitely complain, but I'm not sure who to. It could be an honest mistake, but I'm guessing not. In a way, I'm lucky that I only got one bag, as it would be even harder to use up 2 bags of expiring stuff.
    Food and beverage products (or units containing food or beverage) and products sensitive to temperatures will only be accepted if they meet the following requirements:

    FBA:
    A product that has an expiration date may be listed with FBA as long as the unit is lot-controlled and the remaining shelf life is greater than 105 days from the time of receipt by Amazon.

    Units that are within 50 days of the expiration date will be removed for disposal by Amazon.

    So not sure if they're even allowed to ship me stuff that expires in less then 50 days.

    (and btw, even though it's an use-by date, is it really something that will become bad quickly? If it's dried, I would expect it to have a rather long life, so even off by a few days, or even weeks, might not matter that much? Manufacturers tend to be overly conservative in their dates, just to cover their asses (can you cover more than one ass at a time?))

    Personally I tend to scoff at expiration dates, unless it's for something like raw meat, sushi, etc.

    On the other hand, I was pretty sure yogurt doesn't expire, but just gets better with age (like fine wine), on the other hand we accidentally fed our kid yogurt that expired in September, and he threw up later that day. Now, he could've just picked up a stomach bug somewhere, but it's most likely the yogurt.

    So yea, there's some leeway with expiration, and for myself I would probably still eat stuff as long as it tastes and smells good, but it's a different thing when you're feeding it to someone else.



  • @dse said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    Protect Customers Hurting Businesses Act

    We're messing this up. Needs a good acronym!



  • @dangeRuss said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    It seems nobody made the "In Capitalist America, TV watches you!" joke yet so I'm here to do the needful.


    Filed under: Duly paging @groaner



  • @dcon said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    @dse said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    Protect Customers Hurting Businesses Act

    We're messing this up. Needs a good acronym!

    Save Americans From E-Snooping act, or SAFE for short.



  • @dangeRuss said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    So not sure if they're even allowed to ship me stuff that expires in less then 50 days.

    Ah, if there is an Amazon guideline and it's not following it, then you have a clear ground for complaint, I would say. Even if they abid by the rule, but are skirting it, that would be worth some kind of notification. On the other hand, as always with these things, in your place I would weight how much I care about this and can expect out of it vs. how much time/effort/... it would cost me to get it right...

    So yea, there's some leeway with expiration, and for myself I would probably still eat stuff as long as it tastes and smells good, but it's a different thing when you're feeding it to someone else.

    Agreed. Although here you're going to feed it to a dog (well, you haven't said clearly... that might be dog treats for your kid? ;-) ) and if yours is anything like mine, they eat much more disgusting things than past-its-date food.



  • @remi said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    the 2-for-1 which is actually only 1-for-1 is clearly a different issue, but if someone doesn't notice that they get half of what they paid for, they are stupid

    It's more like banking on people feeling it's not worth it to argue for a refund/replacement over a bunch of dog food. Of course it generally tarnishes the reputation of the company in question and might end up in a lawsuit... but let's be honest, do you spend time verifying the reviews of your dog food seller?

    @remi said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    Agreed. Although here you're going to feed it to a dog (well, you haven't said clearly... that might be dog treats for your kid? ) and if yours is anything like mine, they eat much more disgusting things than past-its-date food.

    If your dog is anything like my cat, they'll gladly eat it, but the results won't be pretty. Seriously, I swear the furry fucker can puke over twice his volume.



  • @dangeRuss said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    In a way, I'm lucky that I only got one bag, as it would be even harder to use up 2 bags of expiring stuff.

    It's freeze dried dog food, right? The "use by" date sounds pretty meaningless.



  • @boomzilla said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    @dangeRuss said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    In a way, I'm lucky that I only got one bag, as it would be even harder to use up 2 bags of expiring stuff.

    It's freeze dried dog food, right? The "use by" date sounds pretty meaningless.

    Shouldn't it be the best-by date then? I know half the expiration dates are there to cover their asses and the other half is to get you to throw out perfectly good products and buy more, but ever once in a while those things actually mean something. And I don't want to clean up dog vomit.


  • Impossible Mission - B

    Wait, how did we get from "smart TVs spy on you" to "expired dog food"?


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @masonwheeler said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    Wait, how did we get from "smart TVs spy on you" to "expired dog food"?

    YMBNH



  • @masonwheeler said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    Wait, how did we get from "smart TVs spy on you" to "expired dog food"?

    YMBNH


  • Impossible Mission - B

    @dangeRuss YMBNH :P


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @dangeRuss said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    Shouldn't it be the best-by date then?

    Frozen food doesn't last forever, or at least not at the usual temperature of domestic freezers, not and remain really nice. The issue is that the fats still (slowly) go rancid. You've got a few months with something fatty, but shouldn't really put it off indefinitely. Bread and vegetables can last much better. OTOH, rancid fats won't usually make you sick; they're just not very nice.

    I've no idea how much dogs and cats care. We don't usually keep food for our cat for longer than a month or so, even frozen, since otherwise we'd have silly levels of inventory on ice.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @masonwheeler said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    ISTM we need a law with real teeth to deal with stuff like this. It would be very simple: Any business that is found to have made money by breaking the law must be subject to a penalty no less than 100% of the gross revenue brought in by their illegal acts.

    Will this law be enforced by the people who are enforcing the current laws?



  • @dse said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    besides FTC is now in charge of protecting the real customers, i.e. the businesses who pay them

    That's always been the case.

    Like with the FCC and Net Neutrality.

    It took a lot of pressure to get them to declare internet traffic as Title II.

    Before they made the change, politicians that supported the Net Neutrality act touted the regulation of publicly sold fast lanes as a solution. Meaning Net Neutrality politicians were in the pocket of big internet business and were hijacking the buzzword to cover their misrepresentation to the public.

    Even still, I don't think Title II really prevents fast lanes. It just says you can't have back door deals and have to treat every customer the same. Somehow I feel that offering speed brackets to EVERY customer is still treating them the same. Also, it's originally for radio communication, back during the analog days.

    That's a tangent.

    The point being is that you can't trust the government, no matter which party is in charge. They will sell you shit labeled as chili.



  • @Maciejasjmj said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    do you spend time verifying the reviews of your dog food seller?

    Well, if I'm buying through Amazon, that has a vaguely usable feedback system, yes, I do care about reviews. I'm not going to spend hours perusing them (at least not for dog food), but if I see a nice offer, from a seller with a couple of 1 star reviews saying essentially "I got tricked", I'm going to pass.

    I'd say that the high visibility of rankings and reviews in a typical Amazon page make it easy to be influenced by it. That doesn't guarantee much, I understand that it is easy to trick the rankings (and too many stuff has no ranking, or no useful one), but in a sense that makes negative ones even more powerful: if it's so easy to trick them and the seller still has a negative one, that means he probably really doesn't care at all (well, a coordination of buyers may also sink the rankings, but it's going to be visible in the comments, people are not subtle...).

    If your dog is anything like my cat, they'll gladly eat it, but the results won't be pretty. Seriously, I swear the furry fucker can puke over twice his volume.

    Mmm, yes, good point. I am lucky to have a huge garden so part of the barfing tends to happen outside (where it is usually... "recycled" quite quickly...) but even so... it's better to stick to conventional non-expired foods!



  • @remi said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    but in a sense that makes negative ones even more powerful: if it's so easy to trick them and the seller still has a negative one, that means he probably really doesn't care at all

    What I get frustrated with is the sellers that care too much about it. Mostly because of systems that heavily rewards someone for having no negative reviews (Looking at you, Ebay), such that sellers will help you out and then feel entitled for you to remove the negative review. Yeah, that's great you gave me a discount on my next purchase, but I'm sorry, negative review is staying up there.

    So, yeah, reviews are too gamed for me to take them too seriously.



  • @xaade said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    The point being is that you can't trust the government, no matter which party is in charge. They will sell you shit labeled as chili.

    QFFT



  • @remi said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    (where it is usually... "recycled" quite quickly...)

    Don't know about your dog, but with mine that means "what went out goes in" (no, get away from me, you're not going to lick me with that tongue!)



  • @dcon said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    @remi said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    (where it is usually... "recycled" quite quickly...)

    Don't know about your dog, but with mine that means "what went out goes in" (no, get away from me, you're not going to lick me with that tongue!)

    Yep, that's what I meant. Although she is weirdly selective (both with hers and with what comes out of other dogs), I don't know why.



  • @xaade said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    So, yeah, reviews are too gamed for me to take them too seriously.

    Reviews are like a lot of technical solutions to human problems (reputation on forum and other :disco: :horse: stuff...): they don't work, but on average they do give some kind of useful additional info to judge whether to trust or not someone. I'll never decide something based on reviews only, but if I've found two identical sellers where one has a credible 4.5 stars rating and the other barely 1 (or some times even worse, a pristine 5 stars without a single criticism), I know which one I'll pick.

    In a sense, I guess this is not that much different from Real Life. Whether you trust or not a business relies on a lot of small things and if you try and make rules out of them, you'll find lots of counter-examples, yet on the whole, there are some broadly useful indicators (for example, a restaurant that looks dirty may not necessarily serve bad food, there are some wonderful scrappy corner food stalls, but on average, you're more likely to get good food if there are not rats running around the place...).



  • @dangeRuss said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    it would be even harder to use up 2 bags of expiring stuff.

    For your usage, sure. But the vendor doesn't know your usage - you might be like my neighbour who has 45 dogs, in which case 2 bags might last a morning.



  • @dcon said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    QFFT

    Quoted for food trade?



  • @tufty said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    @dcon said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    QFFT

    Quoted for food trade?

    If your neighbor had 45 dogs, it's obviously the other F.



  • @dcon Firearms?



  • @tufty said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    @dcon Firearms?

    That works...



  • @dangeRuss said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    we accidentally fed our kid yogurt that expired in September, and he threw up later that day. Now, he could've just picked up a stomach bug somewhere, but it's most likely the yogurt.

    BTDT myself. Got sick; thought about what I had eaten recently; only thing I could come up with was some outdated yogurt. How could milk that's already spoiled spoil more? Figured maybe it was the fruit in the yogurt, but I dunno.

    Note to self: Throw out the outdated yogurt that's currently in the fridge.



  • @remi said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    they eat much more disgusting things than past-its-date food.

    QFT. In fact, it's so true,

    @remi said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    they eat much more disgusting things than past-its-date food.

    I'll QFT it again for extra truth.


  • Impossible Mission Players - A

    @remi said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    can you cover more than one ass at a time?

    I can be tricky, but it's definitely doable!



  • @Tsaukpaetra said in Vizio TVs track what you watch:

    I can be tricky

    Indeed.


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