TiVo To Sell Data On Viewing Habits Of Subscribers

from the you-have-no-privacy-anywhere dept

TiVo seems to be saying “privacy, schmivacy” as they’ve announced plans to sell the data they have on their subscribers’ viewing habits. This shouldn’t be a huge surprise, since it was well-known that TiVo was collecting this material – which is clearly valuable to advertisers – and they’ve become increasingly desperate to find a business model that works. The question, though, is how will TiVo owners (and potential buyers) react. If this story gets enough negative press, the backlash against TiVo could have a big impact. People might not like the fact that they’re paying TiVo to then go out and sell their private viewing habits. Update: There seems to be some concern in the comments below this article that what I’ve written is misleading. I should apologize for the wording. At no point is TiVo planning on (nor did I mean to imply they were) on selling specific information linked to an individual. They are selling aggregate data. Of course, many people do still have privacy concerns about that – not realizing that TiVo was recording their every click of the remote. I, personally, wouldn’t be happy to hear that I was paying TiVo to make more money on my viewing habits. If they want to sell them, fine, but I should be getting a say in (a) what information is shared or (b) something back in return.

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Comments on “TiVo To Sell Data On Viewing Habits Of Subscribers”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: No Subject Given


The info you pose in this article is very misleading. TIvo is sellign AGGREGATE DATA, in other words, there is nothing that identifies each person, its anonymous.

This actually in my opinion is good news, as it can if used properly help show what people with tivo are really watching. It can turn out to be very powerful.

gary says:

Re: Re: No Subject Given

That’s why I refuse to buy another TiVo. I feel like I was missled on the first one. If I’m paying you for a service, I don’t want you collecting data for resell and I don’t want you downloading crap to my property.

TiVo needs to learn how to make you think you are getting something for nothing. I paid $200 for their TV guide service and I expect to be treated like a customer.

Don’t piss down my back and tell me it’s raining.

Dan (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re: No Subject Given

Well then you’ll want to disconnect your cable box – because they dont even give you a heads up that they are collecting data nad have been since day 1. At least tivo has ALWAYS been upfront about it. Please Tivo – sell my data! Then the networks will see we want more shows like Tech Tv and Scientific America and less crap like Survivor and American Idol

Bob Bechtel says:

Something back in return

[playing devil’s advocate here…] Arguably, you do get something back in return for Tivo’s sale of aggregated user data — the continued existence of Tivo. Presumably, the user data sale is a source of revenue, which reduces the revenue that must be obtained through user subscription fees. An imperfect analogy is the advertising found in hardcopy (and softcopy) newspapers and magazines, or more perversely, the “content” of those magazines, which presumably entices readers whose presence can then be sold to advertisers.

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