On July 31, 2019, the court granted final approval of a $17 million settlement in this class action, which alleged that VIZIO secretly tracked — for 3 years — what people were watching on about 16 million smart TVs. Not only did VIZIO collect consumers’ viewing histories and information about their digital identities, according to the complaint, but also VIZIO sold that information to other companies without consumers’ consent. 

On June 8, 2016, Cohen Milstein’s Andrew N. Friedman, Co-Chair of Cohen Milstein's Consumer Practice, was appointed by Judge Josephine L. Staton for the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to serve as a member of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee.

Case Background

In 2015 Cohen Milstein and numerous other plaintiffs law firms filed class actions in California Federal Court  alleging that Vizio secretly collected data on what people watched on their Smart TVs through software surreptitiously installed on their televisions and shared it with advertisers and other firms.

On July 26, 2017, Judge Josephine L. Staton denied Vizio’s motion to dismiss, sustaining novel and ground-breaking claims under the Video Privacy Protection Act in this closely watched privacy action, alleging that Vizio Smart TVs contain a default feature that tracks what viewers watch. According to the lawsuit, Vizio reportedly matches this information with its customers’ IP addresses, allowing Vizio to sell personal information about its customers’ TV habits to third parties for profit.

The case is styled: Vizio, Inc., Consumer Privacy Litigation, Case No. 8:16-ml-02693, U.S. District Court, Central District of California.