Smart TVs Are Tracking Viewers And These Lawmakers Are Concerned


You love to sit down in the evenings and watch TV ... but what if your TV was also watching you?

This science fiction concept is quickly becoming reality as more and more consumers are purchasing smart TVs. These devices are able to track user behavior and viewing history and take that data to create targeted advertising. And some lawmakers want the Federal Trade Commission to do something about it, CNET reports.

Sens. Edward Markey, D-Mass., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., sent a letter to FTC Chairman Joseph Simmons on Thursday, detailing their concerns and requesting an investigation.

Owners of these smart TVs might not be aware of all the data they've given away, as the disclosure of these policies is often buried in pages of user agreement text.

"Televisions have entered a new era, but that does not mean that users' sensitive information no longer deserves protection," the senators wrote. "The content consumers watch is private, and it should not be assumed that customers want companies to track and use information on their viewing habits."

Television manufacturers aren't the only one looking to monitor people using their TV watching. Facebook recently filed a patent that would allow it to send a signal through broadcast content that would connect with users' smartphones in order to collect data.

The letter requests that the FTC launch an investigation specifically into the privacy policies and practices of these manufacturers.