10 months ago
You may start seeing more targeted ads directly on your television. The Federal Communications Commission is poised to approve a new broadcast standard that will let broadcasters do something cable TV companies already do: gather data about what you watch so advertisers can customize pitches, reports Bloomberg.
This prospect alarms privacy advocates, who say there are no rules setting boundaries for how broadcasters handle personal information. There was no mention of privacy in the 109-page proposal by the FCC, reports Bloomberg. Commissioners are set to vote on Thursday. Cable companies have legal obligations to safeguard subscriber information, and groups like Consumers Union think that Next Gen TV should have the same rules.
“If the new standard allows broadcasters to collect data in a way they haven’t before, I think consumers should know about that,” Jonathan Schwantes, senior policy counsel for Consumers Union, said in an interview according to Bloomberg. “What privacy protections will apply to that data, and what security protections?”
Next Gen TV represents an advance in the digital world, where Facebook, Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Prime have been stealing viewers with their video services for decades. Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. and other TV station owners say that new standard will provide sharper pictures and video on demand, reports Bloomberg. It will also track viewers of their programming on tablets and other platforms.
This would help with ad sales. Previously, TV stations sold commercials based on broad demographics, but data collected from Next Gen TV could help them up their game.
Broadcasters expect to reach viewers away from their home TV sets since Next Gen TV is designed to be compatible with tablets and mobile phones, reports Bloomberg.