smart tv companies should make personal data collection transparent and opt in

Attention Marketers: Generate Qualified Leads to Fill Your Sales Funnel Instantly!
Access the most comprehensive database of more than 30 million IT and Business Decision Makers. Accuracy and satisfaction guaranteed. No registration required to learn more.

Did you know that fancy smart TV sitting in your living room, kitchen, bedroom or bathroom actually may be watching you? Sorry to break it to you. It’s another example of amazing modern technology designed to help marketers while striking a blow to privacy. Then again, we haven’t had privacy in more years than I can remember.

There are two ways to look at this. If you are a marketer, you love it. You can get loads of user data for your marketing. However, if you are a consumer who cares about protecting your privacy, you feel invaded. Those are the two ends of the spectrum on the issue.

As a user, I don’t want to be snooped on. I don’t want anyone knowing what I think or do. That’s my business. It’s personal and it’s private. If a marketing company wants me to give up some information, it should ask me to opt in. It’s not right for companies to assume they can take whatever they want as long as they mention they are doing so in the very long user agreements no one ever reads.

All About Cookies

As an analyst, I can see the incredible value on the marketing front for companies and their investors. Customer data can be an incredibly powerful tool that helps companies grow.

So you can see why it’s easy to be torn on this one. Why can’t we just do things in a way that everyone wins? Why don’t more companies adopt opt-in policies, so that their users will be protected unless and until they decide they want to engage in data sharing?

This issue has been intensifying. Many marketing companies have been watching us to learn more about the things we use on a daily basis. They are collecting this data and using it to market things to us. This sounds pretty harmless, but as the practice spreads, the potential threat increases.

Today, if you ask Google a question, you suddenly may see ads on that very same topic on Facebook and many other sites you visit. It’s all about those cookies. They sound harmless, but they are the culprit. It seems…