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Why TV Security Is Good News for Consumer Privacy

February 20th, 2019   ||    by Susan Kuchinskas   ||    No Comments

The advertising industry has become increasingly aware of consumers’ pain over their data being swapped among publishers and marketers. With social media companies being hacked and data breaches from large retail companies, everyone worries about providing their information directly or having it scraped from their online behavior.

In this long-overdue, national conversation, one medium is sitting it out. Television has never had major transparency issues and won’t, provided television equipment manufacturers follow the FTC’s guidelines on data collection. Let’s call it TV security: the very limited collecting and use of data from the viewing public.

TV Security vs. Digital Insecurity

Last fall, during Advertising Week, the four major ad trade organizations, ANA, IAB, ARF, and CIMM, announced the Data Transparency Label, Axios reported.

According to MediaPost, the Data Transparency Label will provide information about both the data provider and distributor, as well as insights into audience segments.

The digital industry is finally responding to what seems like constant revelations about the misuse of consumer data. The IAB even went so far as to say it would support a national privacy standard regulated on the federal level, as opposed to a patchwork of state laws such as California’s Consumer Privacy Act of 2018.

In this landscape, TV security means that a television is the most private of devices. TVs cannot collect any personal data; smart TVs can only identify which shows are being watched and what IP address that’s connected to. This can help organizations personalize the ads you see based solely on you as an audience and your show preferences.

And, while the digital advertising industry has grown quickly and haphazardly, the use of data for addressable television advertising is coming of age in this era of increased privacy concerns. Players are proceeding with eyes wide open to consumers’ demand for the security of their data.

TV Security First

A case in point is Blockgraph, blockchain-enabled software that runs on Comcast’s digital advertising platform. Comcast would like Blockgraph to become a platform where media sellers and publishers securely exchange user data without disclosing identifiable information, MediaPost reported. Blockchain provides a tamper-proof method of distributing information.

This is just one example of the proactive stance the television industry is taking when it comes to data privacy and security. In addition, the FTC has issued strict guidelines for TV security, Forbes noted.

Making Smarter, Safer Decisions With Data

The new smart TVs can’t collect personally identifiable information; instead, they can identify what shows are being watched and the IP address of an individual TV. This capacity supports addressable advertising: targeting ads to individual households based on first- and third-party data.

One benefit of this approach for consumers could be fewer commercials. NCBU has already committed to reducing the number of commercial breaks during NBC primetime shows by 20 percent, according to Broadcasting & Cable.

NBCU will also use artificial intelligence to insert ads in more optimal places. It has tagged shows with emotional attributes to let advertisers enhance the performance of creative by placing it in a scene with the right emotional context. While this is limited to digital and OTT, expect this to come to linear television in the future.

TV security plus addressable advertising is a win for advertisers and consumers.

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