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The Dutch online TV provider became involved in the privacy violation case.
TP Vision is a joint venture based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, which develops, manufactures and markets Philips branded TV sets in Europe, Russia, the Middle East, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and selected countries in Asia-Pacific.
In 2012 TP Vision made statements about their monitoring the use of Philips branded smart TVs in the Netherlands, such as
"60% of our active users switch on their television more than 50 times a month".
The Dutch Data Protection Authority started an investigation into TP Visions collection and handling of usage data. Merel Eilander from the Dutch DPA noted that
‘It [smart TV] is an emerging market. But many people are not aware that watching television nowadays is actually another way of Internet.’
Most of the users are aware about Internet privacy, but not many of them know about their TV privacy. The latter motivated the Dutch DPA workers to start an investigation over TP Vision.
By 2013 it has been reported that TP Vision data processing policy is not conforming to the Dutch law. TP Vision used cookies and logfiles in order to monitor the users behavior – the programs, which the users were watching, the websites they were visiting and thee apps they used for that, and intended to offer personalized ads to its customers. However TP Visions did not ask their prior permission to do that. Moreover the company did not inform their customers about the monitoring, providing them with insufficient information about processing their personal data.
The Dutch DPA concluded that the company would have to inform viewers about collecting the data in advance. Moreover they must obtain the users’ consent for their personal data being processed. By being not transparent TP Vision was acting in breach of the Data Protection Act ( DPA ). In addition, it lacks complete and clear cookies policy.
In response, TP Vision stated it would change its policy to conform to the Dutch law. A spokeswoman for TP Vision assured that during the past couple of months the company has worked closely with the DPA and will continue to cooperate in future in order to solve the problem.
Rapport on the processing of personal data or by Philips Smart TV - TP Vision Netherlands can be found here [in Dutch]