Are you under TiVo’s StopWatch?


Putting his hand on the proverbial Bible, Todd Juenger, a VP at TiVo, swears blind that the digital video recording company is not archiving and selling inidivual subscriber’s data.

TiVo is, however, through its StopWatch initative offering ad agencies and television networks the opportunity to receive real time data concerning which programs TiVo subscribers are watching and which ads they are skipping.

Talking with the San Francisco Chronicle, Todd said that StopWatch only delivers a random, anonymous sampling of what their user base is watching.

Inherently as an advocate of the attention economy I find nothing wrong or alarming in what TiVo is doing. However, there is a slippery slope effect and it is up to users to determine their level of confidence in particular companies…do you trust companies like TiVo…will they continue to anonymise your data?


3 responses to “Are you under TiVo’s StopWatch?

  1. I think that it’s misguided to try and call TiVo out on this. From day 1, they’ve protected the identity of their users. Take a look at Comcast’s, Cox’s or Time Warner’s privacy policies and you’ll see that what they report is considerable more invasive and yet noone ever writes word one about that. I trust TiVo with my television data and hope that the aggregate info they sell results in enabling advertisers to create better ads. I guess I could be a conspiracy theorist and unplug my TV from cable entirely, but when I hear about firms like Dish working on technology to digitally insert personal ads, I get a lot more worried, then hearing that TiVo is lumping together a pool of their subscribers data and reporting how people are watching ads.

  2. Davis, I agree that TiVo is one of the ‘good guys’ in the opening Attention Economy – read some of my other comments on this area…I am in favor of such activities and have even seriously looked at a venture ad personalisation. I wantede to point out though, that consumers should choose wisely whom they decide to trust with their data – not everyone will behave in the same way: caveat emptor.

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