Vizio Reaches $2.2 Million Settlement With FTC, New Jersey, For Failing to Obtain Viewer Consent to Track and Sell Viewing Habits to Third Parties
Traditionally, advertisers purchase ad inventory during television programs based on basic demographic information regarding viewer attributes. Thus, while ads may reach viewers of a particular gender and age range, those ads may not necessarily reach the consumers that are most interested in their products or services. Thus, advertisers are increasingly interested in more finely targeting their advertising and sending a specific television commercial to a specific household based on the viewing activities in that household. In order to pinpoint their targets, marketers rely on data extending beyond demographic information that includes information on consumer viewing and internet habits. While targeting commercials to specific households can be highly beneficial to marketers (allowing them to send their ads to the consumers most interested in seeing them) and consumers (showing them the ads they most want to see), marketers must remember that the basic requirements of advertising law still apply. Thus, in collecting data, marketers must ensure that they clearly disclose their data collection practices up front, obtain consent from consumers before collecting and sharing highly specific information regarding their viewing practices, and make it easy for consumers to opt out.