Prices are going up for just about everything we buy, with one exception: electronics, especially TVs.

Prices have never been lower, but there’s a reason for that – they’re gathering data about you.

Vizio was caught 2 years ago collecting data on people watching its smart TVs. What you watch, what holds your attention, your age, gender, income, whether you own or rent, your marital status and how many people live in your home, that technology is available.

Vizio is partnering with Disney, Comcast, NBC and CBS to develop an industry standard so that every TV manufacturer can gather that type of information, sell it to advertisers that will target ads specifically to you.

It’ll kind of be like how when you search for something on the computer, ads start showing up for that item on Facebook and Google. If you watch shows about house decorating, you’ll see more ads for home products. Watch sports show, you might see more beer commercials.

That data is valuable to advertisers as they can target commercials for individual viewers. So valuable that Vizio and other manufacturers can sell smart TVs at or near cost because they’ll make lots more by selling your information.

Rather than only making money when one of their TVs is purchased, manufacturers will continue making money for the life of the TV. If you have a smart TV, you’ve likely given it permission to gather your data. Open up the settings option on your smart TV to see what you’ve agreed to.

The good news is TVs are inexpensive, but the bad news is your data is for sale and we’ll eventually wonder, if someone’s using a camera in our TV to see which brand of popcorn we choose.

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