Sky TV is about to begin silently monitoring and collecting data about the habits of UK television viewers – which shows they watch, the ones they don’t and perhaps more alarmingly, it’s also looking at what kind of websites they visit.
Following a six week trial the new service, AdSmart, launches this week and will covertly insert adverts that it thinks will interest you.
The Huffpost writes:
While 80% of the country might be watching an advert for washing up liquid, you might be watching a video games clip. And if you already have Sky Broadband, you’ll see an ad for a drama series instead of another promo clip for that service.
The ads won’t be shown during recorded TV, and should be fairly imperceptible. Currently it’s only available in 20% of homes, however, so there’s a good chance you won’t get it right away anyway.
Engadget explains how it works:
The system works by sending a library of clips direct to your Sky+HD box, which will run during ad breaks in live broadcasts in place of the standard national ads transmitted to everyone else.
The targeting might not be totally precise, however, because we’re told that the only information Sky has access to is your post code and Experian’s records, but hey — perhaps you’ll be clued-in when your local restaurant begins offering a new menu.
Yet again we’re seeing the UK plummet further into an Orwellian nightmare, where the individual has become the product.
Where Sky customers asked if their data could be collected and used in this way?
Where they told how long their data would be stored for and under what level of security?
Where they offered a way to opt-out?
No. I didn’t think so.
It’s despicable that corporations like this think they can take whatever information they choose from us and sell it to the highest bidder or use it in ways that we might find repugnant.