The concern about the ability of connected TVs to track user behavior and data is continuing to grow. The following article is not only well-written, but more importantly, it confirms the misconception consumers have with internet-connected objects around them. As advertisers, device manufacturers and data brokers collaborate to collect and analyze data from connected products, consumers are unaware that they are actually paying for the services that are monetizing their data. It’s one thing to give Google or Facebook your browsing or even personal data in exchange for free search or networking. It is quite another to actually be paying for hardware and services that are using consumer data as a source of revenue the consumer is not aware of. The question is quickly becoming, how do IoT business partners collaborate to better inform consumers so that they can understand exactly what data services and devices gather – and thus allow them to opt-in to become a vital partner in the IoT economic ecosystem?
The growing concern over online data and user privacy has been focused on tech giants like Facebook and devices like smartphones. But people’s data is also increasingly being vacuumed right out of their living rooms via their televisions, sometimes without their knowledge.
In recent years, data companies have harnessed new technology to immediately identify what people are watching on internet-connected TVs, then using that information to send targeted advertisements to other devices in their homes. Marketers, forever hungry to get their products in front of the people most likely to buy them, have eagerly embraced such practices. But the companies watching what people watch have also faced scrutiny from regulators and privacy advocates over how transparent they are being with users.