Cable companies are spying on your mortgage, car and student loans, etc.
According to Bloomberg Business:
“Using data from cable set-top boxes that track TV viewing, credit cards and other sources, media companies including Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal, Time Warner Inc.’s Turner and Viacom Inc. are trying to compete with Web giants like Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. and help marketers target their messages to the right audience.”
“NBC is using cable set-top box data from parent company Comcast Corp., along with credit card data, automobile data and other sources, to tell advertisers which network, and even which program on that network, is more likely to include their target audience.”
Reading between the lines, cable companies and advertisers are spying on your credit card data and automobile data. What that means is a mystery but if you watch movies, Netflix or Youtube in your car, you can bet you’re being spied on.
Advertisers will send you and your family ads based on EVERY purchase you’ve made and any web searches you’ve made!
Cablevision collects the following information from users if they’re a registered user of Comcast Web Services:
Registration Data: We ask you to provide certain information when you create an account for the Comcast Web Services, such as your first and last name, a user name you may create, a password, email address, mailing address, phone number, and your gender, and date of birth.
Profile Data: We may ask you to provide additional information the first time you choose to access a specific Comcast Web Service, such as: additional contact email addresses, lists of people to connect with through certain Comcast Web Services, movie genre preferences, and whether you would like us to communicate with you about other Comcast products and services.
Activity Data: If you’re a registered User and are logged in and using the Comcast Web Services, we can associate what you do on the Comcast Web Services (such as flagging or rating news articles, movies, television shows or other content, posting blog entries or comments, and sharing URLs) with your registration information.
“Personally Identifiable Information” or “PII” means information that identifies a specific person, such as the person’s name, address, Social Security number, financial account number, or phone number.
Comcast claims they’ll on share your Personally Identifiable Information if you direct them to…
If you direct us to share your information with another website or company (for example, a social networking site), we’ll do so. We may also permit some companies that we hire to perform services on our behalf to access certain information, but these companies are not permitted to keep this information or use it themselves. They’re required by contract with us to use this information only to deliver the services they have been hired to perform, and they are required to keep all information about our users and our services completely confidential.
Comcast’s first sentence is absurd! Who would direct them to share our personal information with advertisers? And their last sentence is also misleading, please continue reading…
Information that does not identify a person could be a non-personal record of online activity, or information you put in a profile – like your zip code, your age or your gender (when it’s used without your name). We routinely collect this kind of information and use it to improve your experience, for example, by showing you content and advertising that may be more relevant and interesting to someone like you. Sometimes we share this kind of non-personal information with other companies that help us deliver and improve our services.
Your personal info. may be shared among Comcast companies…
The Web Services are provided by various companies that are part of Comcast. We may share your information among these Comcast companies so we can make it easier for you to use several Web Services seamlessly. Also, if you use the Web Services in connection with other Comcast services(for example, to set your DVR online to record a show on your television), we may need to share your information with the Comcast companies that offer those services, too.
According to WIRED cable customers can allegedly opt-out, but for how long?
“The ads will be delivered in real time and matched to geography, the type of show being watched and the viewer’s history. Customers will have the choice to opt out of being shown ads based on their viewing history, much like users of Google’s web services can opt out of being targeted based on browsing history. It’s not clear what “viewing history” means, how granular that opt-out process will be, or whether this type of targeting will be available to both national and local advertisers.”
Click here to opt-out of Cablevision’s spying program.
A company called VisibleWorld offers advertisers the ability to spy on customers television viewing habits.
“Visible World empowers more than 300 advertisers to deliver more targeted, effective and accountable local TV ad campaigns to consumers in approximately 80% of U.S. cable homes in 210 DMAs and our household addressable footprint includes 3 million homes.”
“TV has to move in this direction,” said Brad Adgate, head of research for the media-buying firm Horizon Media. “There’s a lot of concern about dollars migrating to digital from television. This is a way for TV to keep pace.”
Time Warner’s Turner networks which include TNT, TBS and CNN, began offering targeted ads to a small number of advertisers last year and expanded the number of customers this year. Its ad sales team now can sell commercial time that guarantees brands will reach a specific audience rather than those defined just by age and gender, said Michael Strober, Turner’s senior vice president for client insights and innovation.
Samsung’s Smart TV Supplement reveals just how invasive the spying has become:
“ . . . To make these kinds of enhancements available, we provide video or audio snippets of the program you’re watching to third-party providers that use this information in order to return content or advertising “synched” to what you’re watching. These providers may receive information about your device (e.g., its IP address and device identifiers) and your interactions with the content and advertising they provide.”
The technology being used to spy on our viewing habits is known as “Automatic Content Recognition” (ACR).
Here’s how ACR works: Companies such as Cognitive Networks, Enswers, and Gracenotecollaborate with television manufacturers to embed ACR technology into smart TVs that monitors either the video or audio stream—and sometimes both—that the user is watching. The ACR creates a “fingerprint” of the on-screen content, then sends it to a remote server that uses that fingerprint to determine what programming is being watched.
According to Intrasonics an ACR manufacturer:
“We don’t just identify the show or the particular episode, we identify the precise timepoint that the viewer has reached within that show, whether watching or listening live or via a catch-up service.”
Audiblemagic another ACR manufacturer brags about their close relationship with cable network giants, Youtube and Facebook for starters…
“Audible Magic is the leader in automated identification of audio and visual content for web media platforms and social networks. Our content identification systems have been in production for years and are trusted by major customers such as Daily Motion, Facebook, SoundCloud, Twitch, Vimeo and Verizon Wireless.”
“Audible Magic has built content relationships with the major studios, including NBCU, Fox, Viacom/MTV, Warner Bros, Sony Pictures, and Disney/ABC. Our database contains hundreds of thousands of titles including TV and film content, much of the new content is registered with Audible Magic pre-release/pre-broadcast. There is no cost of registration so most of our customers just refer content owners to Audible Magic and we take care of the rest.”
What does all this mean for us? That’s simple, EVERYTHING you do, purchase and watch is being spied on. Private companies are making huge profits at the expense of EVERYONE’S privacy!