Thursday, August 4, 2011
Interactive TV Viewing Data Being Sold to Marketing Companies
Broadcasters could face strong penalties for selling private data to marketing companies for advertising purposes. A bill is being proposed by California secretary of state, Debra Bowen that will likely change the current issue of “spying” through the use of interactive data. Bowen will be facing opposition from a few very powerful companies including Microsoft and AOL. Bowen will go in front of the state senate public safety committee to defend her case that the makers of the interactive television systems will need to ask permission before they try to oversee their customers’ activities without consent. In a study that is going to be conducted by AT&T in the fall, 42,000 cable subscribers will be tested in attempts to develop technology that allows for advertisements to be household specific, based on the interactive data transmitted back to AT&T. This test will allow AT&T to have access to personally identifiable information such as telephone numbers, home addresses, and even credit card numbers. Whether this is seen as a violation of privacy, or the opportunity to have a more personalized television experience, we will wait for Congress to make the ultimate decision.