Viewing Data -- Overview
Like many internet-connected TVs, VIZIO Smart TVs or other display units are equipped with Automated Content Recognition (ACR) technology that (when enabled) is able to use video and audio data to recognize what is playing on the TV and send information back to VIZIO about what is showing (“Viewing Data”).
- This feature was formerly called “Smart Interactivity,” but we are referring to the feature in our policies and settings today and in the future as “VIEWING DATA.”
- At any time, you may change your Viewing Data settings within the Settings menu of your VIZIO TV or display. Turning it off will not affect the performance of your VIZIO TV or display or any online services.
What is Viewing Data?
For VIZIO devices that have agreed to Viewing Data collection, VIZIO will use ACR technology to collect information about the audio and video programming content playing on the display unit including broadcast television, advertisements and other commercially available content (including volume, channel information, picture controls, and inputs), and other information, like when the device is off/on or if the content was viewed live or at a later time. VIZIO will also collect the identity of an Over the Top (OTT) device and third party services or applications, such as streaming service providers, (including stream and launch events for movies, TV shows, episodes and channels) that you connect to. Video and audio analysis and data collection using ACR is referred to as “Viewing Data.”
Viewing Data is associated with the IP address for the unit and a unique device number we assign. However, VIZIO will combine and associated your Viewing Data with your myVIZIO account name if you create such an account or link to it to provide you with a more personalized experience on your SmartCast TV or display.
The ACR software also periodically collects other information about the TV or display, including IP address and the media access control (“MAC”) addresses of available access points. Viewing Data is maintained and used in an unidentified format, and VIZIO does not attempt to re-identify the data to associate it with individual customers and prohibits its authorized data partners from attempting to do so as well.
At any time you may turn this ACR functionality on or off from the Settings menu of your VIZIO TV or display. Turning it off will not affect the performance of your VIZIO TV or display or any online services. For specific instructions on how to turn off or on the ACR feature that collects Viewing Data, see the text below under the heading “How you can control the collection of Viewing Data."
How Is Viewing Data Used and Shared?
VIZIO associates Viewing Data with other data about the performance, settings, or features of particular VIZIO devices to support services and to help marketers deliver more relevant advertising. Our authorized cloud service providers, may store this data solely on our behalf and for no other purposes. We may share Viewing Data with vendors, consultants and service providers who work on our behalf and make our business-to-business activities in digital advertising possible.
VIZIO also licenses Viewing Data to analytics companies, media companies, advertisers, ad agencies, and other ad technology companies who measure ad effectiveness or aid personalization of ads, through written agreements which strictly prohibit attempts at identification or re-identification of shared information. Viewing Data is used for the purposes listed below:
- Summary Analytics and Reports. VIZIO’s select data partners may analyze Viewing Data in order to create summary reports and analysis to help deliver relevant information and advertising to interested groups of customers. These summary reports are built from automated analysis of data elements, without connecting the information to any known natural person. For example, a data partner who is an advertiser may want to measure the effectiveness of their promotions, in the aggregate. Thus, the data partner may identify another device that shares an IP address with the VIZIO TV or display and analyze: (a) whether a particular website was viewed or commercial location was visited by a device with location tracking enabled (e.g., a smartphone) after a related promotion was viewed, and (b) whether a particular program was viewed following exposure to a promotion for that program. In addition, some data partners are authorized to use a third-party data aggregator to identify demographic traits (such as gender or age range or income range) associated with the IP addresses that VIZIO collects, and then send to the data partners the demographic information associated with those IP addresses.
- Audience Measurement. VIZIO and these select data partners also use Viewing Data to understand what customers watch in order to deliver more relevant content and advertising, for example, by determining which programs are most popular, how many people watch a program to its conclusion, and whether and how often people are watching commercials. VIZIO and these select data partners may also combine Viewing Data with other demographic and similar information, including by working with data aggregators.
- Tailored Advertisements. VIZIO also licenses Viewing Data to select data partners for the purpose of targeting advertising to other digital devices that share the IP address of VIZIO TVs, based on viewing history collected from that TV. VIZIO or its data partners are sometimes authorized to enhance Viewing Data with household demographic data and data about digital actions (e.g. digital purchases, location, and other consumer behavior taken by devices associated with the IP Address we collect), for the purpose of delivering advertising that are likely to be useful or timely, including during broadcast, cable, satellite, or internet based television programming.
VIZIO does not permit data partners to combine or associate the Viewing Data with Personal Information. VIZIO may combine information (including Activity Data or Viewing Data) collected with other information so that VIZIO can provide, market, and improve VIZIO’s products and services – such as by enhancing popular product functionality and by modifying services to better meet VIZIO’s customers’ needs. VIZIO may also match your data with VIZIO’s partners’ data to help market VIZIO’s products or services to you and provide advertising tailored to your individual interests based on how you browse and shop online.
REMINDER: You always have the option to control the collection of Viewing Data in your TV or display’s Settings menu. Viewing Data collection is only enabled if a user AGREES to this collection. However, for a period of time you may continue to see tailored ads on other devices that were targeted on the basis of Viewing Data that was shared before you turned off collection. Disabling the Video ACR (Viewing Data) feature in the Settings Menu will not, however, affect or limit Activity Data collection through SmartCast Products, which is used to personalize and recommend content within the SmartCast Product or SmartCast Mobile App. If you intend to sell or otherwise give away your VIZIO TV or display, you should perform a “factory reset.”
How Does VIZIO Protect Viewing Data?
VIZIO uses reasonable and appropriate measures to protect information within VIZIO’s organization. Unfortunately, no data transmission or storage system can be guaranteed to be 100% secure. To help protect your information, we recommend consumers follow best practices for internet activities, including proactive password management and router security protocols. How Can I Turn Off or On the Viewing Data (ACR) Feature?
At any time you may turn Viewing Data (ACR) collection off or on directly from the menu of your VIZIO TV or display. Turning Viewing Data (ACR) off will disable all future Viewing Data collection.
For textual as well as graphical instructions on how to turn Viewing Data (ACR) off or on, visit http://www.vizio.com/viewingdata. If you are unable to locate the Viewing Data setting on your VIZIO TV or display, contact VIZIO customer service by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (855) 472-8817. Please note that if your TV or display is ever reset to factory settings, the device will return to its default settings, and Viewing Data will be reset to the “OFF” position. You may again turn the feature on by following the procedure described above.