Talking tech since 2003

Google and TiVo are teaming up for a new deal that will put your remote clicking habits into the hands of advertisers. However, before you freak out about privacy, the information is completely anonymous and may be far less of an invasion of privacy then you may be thinking.  For those who are unaware, Google’s AdWords program also allows you to advertise on TV and radio.

“None of this is being used to actually target an individual,” explains Google spokesperson Eric Obenzinger. “It’s more about delivering more accurate reporting back to advertisers so they can inform their future budgeting decisions.”

“When we say that this is all anonymous data, we mean that it is literally anonymous in the strictest definition of the term,” says Todd Juenger, vice president & general manager of TiVo Audience Research & Measurement. “We don’t collect anything about where it came from.”

What TiVo and Google will know is that some set-top box somewhere pressed play on a certain network at a certain time, then they hit fast-forward, hit pause, and hit play. According to Juenger, “You do that across a million and a half set-top boxes, and you get a collective picture of what percentage of people were watching a certain commercial at a given time.”

Fair enough. Seems like a pretty good way to obtain the information necessary to help Google inform their advertisers so that they can budget and plan accordingly. No point in advertising if the return on investment isn’t there. This goes back to a previous post of mine, Google: The Advertising Engine.  If you had any doubt that Google wants to control the advertising industry, think again.

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