Lawyers for Vizio Smart TV owners propose final deal, around $20 per person

Lawyers representing Vizio TV owners have asked a federal judge in Orange County, California to sign off on a proposed class-action settlement with the company for $17 million, for an affected class of 16 million people, who must opt-in to get any money. Vizio also agrees to delete all data that it collected.

Notice of the lawsuit will be shown directly on the Vizio Smart TVs, three separate times, as well as through paper mailings.

When it’s all said and done, new court filings submitted on Thursday say each of those 16 million people will get a payout of somewhere between $13 and $31. By contrast, their lawyers will collectively earn a maximum payout of $5.6 million in fees.

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 southern California.

This $17 million amount is more than Vizio made by licensing the data collected, according to a source with knowledge of the deal.

A final hearing has been scheduled for December 7, 2018.

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