Vizio, sued for making creepy smart TVs, will notify customers via the TVs

by Cyrus Farivar, arstechnica.com

Lawyers need a few more weeks to make sure Vizio tests settlement message.

In what is likely a first in the industry, Vizio is on the verge of agreeing to display a class-action lawsuit message through its previously sold “Smart TV” televisions as part of a legal settlement. This message is meant to alert customers who bought the TV that they will be party to the forthcoming settlement and likely will get a small amount of money.
As Ars has reported previously, the manufacturer has been under scrutiny since a 2015 revelation that it was snooping on its customers.
The tracking started in February 2014 on both new TVs and previously sold devices that didn’t originally ship with ACR software installed. The software periodically appended IP addresses to the collected data and also made it possible for more detailed personal information—including age, sex, income, marital status, household size, education level, home ownership, and home values—to be associated.
Eventually, the company agreed to pay $2.2 million to settle a complaint brought by the Federal Trade Commission.
However, this new settlement is related to an entirely separate lawsuit, one that was consolidated in federal court in Los Angeles.
In a court filing submitted last Wednesday, lawyers for both sides asked the judge to push back approval of the preliminary settlement to October 3.
“The Parties are developing a class notice program with direct notification to the class through VIZIO Smart TV displays, which requires testing to make sure any TV notice can be properly displayed and functions as intended,” they wrote. “The additional time requested will allow the parties to confirm that the notice program proposed in the motion for preliminary approval is workable and satisfies applicable legal standards.”
The new filing was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.