A report recently published by the Centre for Digital Democracy argues that interactive television has some insidious privacy-infringing potential.
A report recently published by the Centre for Digital Democracy (CDD) argues that interactive television (iTV) has some insidious privacy-infringing potential.
"To advertisers, the development of a technology that combines the Web's interactivity with television's element of dedicated spectatorship is a dream come true," argues the report. "With iTV they will have access to a new breed of couch potato, one that both enjoys the warm glow of the tube and craves the personal touch of the Internet."
What worries the CDD are alleged plans by the cable industry to target specific viewers with "one-to-one" ads based on personal viewing habits. Purportedly schemes are in the pipeline amongst cable companies to monitor the reaction of iTV viewers to ads and adjust personal content accordingly.
"As you watch television, over time a psychological profile could be developed," the report says. "There's real potential for manipulation...and the goal is to encourage impulse buying."
A trade organization for companies involved with iTV, the Association for Interactive Media (AIM), denied that any sinister privacy-infringements were afoot and claimed that no personal information would be collected without subscriber permission.
"The industry plans are to collect aggregate information for advertising, but not to collect information without user knowledge and consent," said Ben Isaacson, AIM's executive director. "Profiling opportunities abound, but it will be from the vantage of opt-in strategies."
With industry analysts predicting that iTV could reach over 50 million households in the US alone within the next five years, the CDD claim that immediate action by the public is crucial.
"The public should decide if this kind of system should be deployed at all...we need safeguards now before intrusive practices become embedded in the system."
What's New for 2015?
You spoke, we listened! ClickZ Live New York (Mar 30-Apr 1) is back with a brand new streamlined agenda. Don't miss the latest digital marketing tips, tricks and tools that will make you re-think your strategy and revolutionize your marketing campaigns. Super Saver Rates are available now. Register today!
Bill McCloskey is the founder and chief evangelist for Email Data Source, a competitive intelligence resource for e-mail marketers. He was named one of online advertising's 50 most influential people by "Media" magazine and one of the 100 people to know by "BtoB Magazine." He's been a recognized pioneer in interactive advertising for over 10 years.
Singapore, 3-4 November
Hong Kong, 8-9 December
Hong Kong, 8-9 December
Google My Business Listings Demystified
To help brands control how they appear online, Google has developed a new offering: Google My Business Locations. This whitepaper helps marketers understand how to use this powerful new tool.
5 Ways to Personalize Beyond the Subject Line
82 percent of shoppers say they would buy more items from a brand if the emails they sent were more personalized. This white paper offer five tactics that will personalize your email beyond the subject line and drive real business growth.