Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Tivo Tracks Superbowl Viewing Habits

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the why-not-to-buy-a-tivo dept.

Privacy 543

ThePretender writes "Sprinkled in the Janet Jackson boob stories is an alarming bit of information: Tivo tracks subscribers' viewing habits. They know how many times the boob was viewed, among other good-to-have (meaning data worth $$) information. Yes, if you agreed to Tivo's privacy policy you knew they could do this, with the promise that you aren't identifiable. Put on the tin foil hats? Or just another way for them to keep your monthly fee down (snicker)." A story from 2002 has more information and makes clear that Tivo does have the capability to record every click you make on the remote control, at all times. Previously Tivo said they tracked 10,000 people for the Super Bowl, this year 20,000.

cancel ×

543 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Don't forget... (-1)

SCO$699FeeTroll (695565) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173197)

...to pay your $699 licensing fee you cock-smoking teabaggers.

What I want to know... (1, Funny)

pbrinich (238041) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173199)

How many times did Tom Ridge watch it??

Re:What I want to know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8173331)

Who is Tom Ridge? (I'm not American, sorry if this is a FAQ)

Re:What I want to know... (2, Informative)

allism (457899) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173371)

Tom Ridge is the Director of Homeland Security.

The joke would have been funnier if John Ashcroft [bbc.co.uk] had been the target.

Re:What I want to know... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8173394)

The Attorney General(head of law enforcement) and an evangelical christian, super right wing. A couple of years ago he had two statues of justice covered with curtains because they had a breast showing.

Re:What I want to know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8173458)

That's John Asscroft, not Tom Ridge.

We're not spying on you! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8173204)

And our spying reveals that you believe us.

Lots of rewind + pause during halftime I'll bet :) (0, Redundant)

a XOR b XOR a XOR b (744728) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173208)

n/t

Re:Lots of rewind + pause during halftime I'll bet (0)

Muda69 (718162) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173223)

Your link doesn't work. Has this so called 'Jihad' failed?

Re:Lots of rewind + pause during halftime I'll bet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8173253)

Thank you Captain Obvious. Did you think of that on your own, or were you just trying to restate part of the summary with more impact and panache?

Re:Lots of rewind + pause during halftime I'll bet (2, Interesting)

blueZhift (652272) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173326)

I'd like to see a distribution of the amount of time the machine was kept on pause during that event. That would yield another interesting statistic. ;-)

Alternate Headline (5, Funny)

Mateito (746185) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173213)

Tivo Tracks Titillating Timberlake Tit Touching!

Re:Alternate Headline (0, Troll)

conner_bw (120497) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173344)

Or how about:

Timberlake vicariously lives out "Micheal Jackson Transvestite" fantasy through sister in front of millions.

Tivo Tracks Twenty Thousand Targets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8173345)

Link to video please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8173362)

thx

Re:Link to Savage ISO please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8173459)

Thx.

That game is the schnizzznit!

Duplicate? (-1, Flamebait)

Can it run Linux (664464) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173215)

This article seems awfully familiar, yet it hasn't been posted on Slashdot yet. Hmm. Wonder why?

Oh yeah, because I read it [fark.com] on FARK.com [fark.com] YESTERDAY.

Oh, and the Slashdot article about the author of MyDoom signing the virus? [slashdot.org] Yup, FARK got there first. [fark.com] And yesterday's article about an e-mail spam solution involving postage fees? [slashdot.org] Once again, Slashdot is beaten to the punch [fark.com] by FARK.

News for Nerds? Yeah, that's there.
But Stuff that Matters? Apparently it doesn't matter enough to post it before it hits the FARK front page.

If you want geek news, read Slashdot.
If you want timeliness and compentent administraton, read FARK.

Re:Duplicate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8173244)

That's okay... the thing about TiVo was on Drudge before FARK. So FARK you.

Re:Duplicate? (1, Offtopic)

Chess_the_cat (653159) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173381)

Fark? Isn't that the site where little kids paste Admiral Ackbar's head on Natalie Portman's nude body and then discuss how brilliant Wil Wheaton is? I'll stick with Slashdot thanks.

but, FARK is useless (1)

naoiseo (313146) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173409)

they choose their stories based on political bias, delete posts they don't like, kick/ban you if you post opinions they don't like, and consistently ignore news stories worthy of note, based on whims. not for the open source minded individual, or even plain ole open minded.

and they often post things that have already been on slashdot for days, what's your point?

Re:Duplicate? (1)

diersing (679767) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173466)

I like your ideas, do you have a newsletter?

Fark is nothing more then a RSS feed, big whoop. When I CAN get to it (blocked at work) its nothing more then clickable headlines. For that, I will stick with The Hun [thehun.com] MmmmmMMMMmmm the hunnnnnn

DEAN IS DOING AN EXCELLENT JOB (-1)

CmdrTaco (troll) (578383) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173221)

AT LOSING.

AZ Kerry 46, Clark 24, Dean 13
MO Kerry 52, Edwards 23, Dean 10
SC Edwards 44, Kerry 30, Sharpton 10
OK Edwards 31, Kerry 29, Clark 28
DE Kerry 47, Dean 14, Lieberman 11, Edwards 11

this is not a first post.

didn't use tivo this year (2, Interesting)

kochsr (144988) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173222)

HDTV broadcast beat out the use of my tivo this year. i didn't even record the superbowl on it. HDTiVo is supposed to be coming out sooner than later for a retail price of $999, dish only. I don't think i'll be buying it right away.

Is there a privacy issue? (5, Interesting)

glinden (56181) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173229)

If TiVo is only passing along aggregated, anonymized data on user behavior, is there a privacy issue? From the article:
  • Privacy advocates have decried such technologies as invasive, but TiVo officials say they do not pass along information that would identify individual viewers.
While it's true that TiVo needs to collect "every click" as the first part of compiling this aggregate data, if the final data is just summarized habits of TiVo users with no individual information, is there a privacy issue?

Re:Is there a privacy issue? (4, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173304)

It's possible that if somebody was watching illegal content, the cops could get a warrant, grab the TiVo, and then have a log of every remote click that the TiVo heard, even those for devices other than the TiVo.

Of course, the extent they could do this is very limited. TiVo units perge this data every time they make a call-in, and once the call is completed TiVo doesn't keep the association between the log file and who sent it unless they have flagged the user's account for support reasons. Also, I know of no real court cases where cops have actually tried to get TiVo data used as evidence...

Re:Is there a privacy issue? (4, Insightful)

cK-Gunslinger (443452) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173424)


It's possible that if somebody was watching illegal content, the cops could get a warrant, grab the TiVo, and then have a log of every remote click

Exactly what kind of "illegal content" is your TiVo going to be playing? Only that which is broadcasted/streamed to your unit from giant media conglomerates. I fail to see how "8:45pm - Channel 725 - 0:13 minutes - volume_down x 3" is going to help convict anyone of anything? Even if you use your TiVo to control your DVD/VCR, how can button clicks associated with your zip code be used for anything?

Re:Is there a privacy issue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8173444)

It's possible that if somebody was watching illegal content

uhh, what is "illegal content"? has anyone ever been accused of acting illegally by watching something broadcast into their television set?

Re:Is there a privacy issue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8173305)

There is a respect issue. I don't want to see tracking of viewing information, period, even if it is aggregated and anonymized.

Re:Is there a privacy issue? (4, Insightful)

s20451 (410424) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173334)

The trouble is that the information is being collected at all. So while most regular users might trust TiVo, it's important to know that they could, in principle, collect very complete statistics concerning your viewing habits. Either by accident or by subpoena, those records could be released.

By contrast, if you created a TiVo equivalent from a home computer with a TV tuner card, it would be completely anonymous -- nobody would ever know what you watched unless they had access to your machine.

Re:Is there a privacy issue? (0)

Aneurysm9 (723000) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173376)

Hmm, MythTV [mythtv.org] anyone? It's been working great for me for months now. And no monthly fees!

Re:Is there a privacy issue? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173435)

So? they collect your're viewing habits of shows that are broadcasted publicly. It's not like there broadcasting illegal information.

When TiVo starts sending what I watch through my VCR/DVD player, etc . . . then we have an issue.

Re:Is there a privacy issue? (1)

Lucidwray (300955) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173340)

I agree. I dont see how this is any different than say yahoo.com tracking an individual users click through path on their web site. If the info is never passed any personal info, then its just usage stats.

No different than analyzing your web server logs and tracking peoples habbits.

Re:Is there a privacy issue? (0, Redundant)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173380)

Did they just store the information to figure out how many times people watched the breast shot, then delete it all right away?

Or, will they keep the information around a while, in case they want to go back and analyze it more for other things?

If they keep it around, what stops a prosecutor from getting a subpoena to see your viewing habits? If TiVo collects and stores the data for any amount of time, a judge can issue an injunction to stop them from deleting it if there is reasonable cause to believe that it can affect a criminal investigation.

And, with the unPatriot Act, forget about that judge and subpoena bit. Any federal agent can call Tivo and find out if you decided to watch "The Crucible" on PBS instead of the superbowl. That would immediately put you on the watch list as unAmerican!

(Disclaimer: I don't have a TiVo, I have a DishDVR which is not connected to a phone line. Does the TiVo privacy policy say how long they store the data, and if the data is stored with any numbers that could track it back to the original user? "Not pass along" data makes me assume that they do store the data.)

Re:Is there a privacy issue? (1)

nolife (233813) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173450)

With broadcasters buying the data, they would be able to determine what people wanted to see and what they did not by the skipping, stopping, and reply habits of users.

In theory... this should make for a better future broadcasts as they can analyze the feedback from the users.

Anyone can assume that the more extreme and outlandish moments would get more reply but can those episodes really be reproduced? Too much extreme would probably not be agood thing overall. Imagine if breasts were in every show.. ;)

Re:Is there a privacy issue? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8173451)

First, TiVo says they only track it by zip code. You don't completely have to take them at their word, since it's been analyzed. But the thing is, TiVo changes their "privacy policy" at the drop of a hat. And once they change it, you have no recourse but to agree, or to stop using their "service." And if you do stop using their "service" (which is to say, you stop paying them to not disable the hardware you've already paid for), you don't get any money back, unless you can find someone willing to buy it.

Second, despite what they say, it is more than possible for the data to be correlated to an individual account. Since each box (or, each home in the case of network access and NAT) has a unique IP address, and each box queries the TiVo servers to ensure that the account is still active, and that query gets the account number... well. It's not hard to do the correlation. And my reading of the current "privacy policy" means they can even use this data in this fashion now, since they're not "collecting" it from the boxes.

TiVo has a great product, but the company is morally slimy. And any potential user must keep in mind that, in TiVo's mind, its customers are not the users, but rather the advertisers they sell the data to.

OH NO!!! (1, Funny)

Turd Rippleton (558149) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173230)


I hope they don't sell that information to my wife!

~Turd

Re:OH NO!!! (0, Offtopic)

boy_afraid (234774) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173323)

Been watching that Skinimax when you're alone at night??

How they do it... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8173232)

There's a great explination of how TiVO gathers and measures this data over at Inpuj. [inpuj.net]

Re:How they do it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8173306)

Don't click. Link to porn!!

I'm calling DUPE!... sorta... (5, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173234)

TiVo Watches the Super Bowl [slashdot.org] ... oh, wait, that was about TiVo and the Super Bowl of Two years ago...

See, TiVo's had their semi-permeable privacy policy since they started, as documented on /. by...
TiVo Data Collection Ramifications [slashdot.org]
TiVo To Sell Customer Data [slashdot.org]
Nielsen to measure TiVo usage [slashdot.org]

So, if this is shocking news to you that TiVo was able to quickly crunch the data and figure out the most rewound moment of the Super Bowl broadcast, you haven't been paying attention. They had this capability for any massively watched program since day one. It was part of the design of the system.

TiVo offers a detailed data service to broadcasters which lets them see by timestamp within an episode what moments people watched, rewound, and skipped. Rumoredly, TechTV's The Screen Savers bought that service once for just one episode, and it ended up proving that their managers where right about what people wanted to see a little more than the actual content-making staff wanted to hear.

The Super Bowl most rewound moment is something TiVo's been doing for years, just for the sake of putting out a press release to get the TiVo name into conversations about what we were gonna be talking about anyway the week after the event... and from Slashdot's coverage over the years, it appears to have worked.

Re:I'm calling DUPE!... sorta... (3, Insightful)

fetta (141344) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173283)

Agreed - the posting was way over the top for something that is old news. If you own a Tivo and didn't know this was taking place, then you haven't been paying attention.

Now, if a story comes out that they are making my specific viewing habits to anyone, then that would be news.

Dire Straights meets Linux? (1, Troll)

nocomment (239368) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173236)

I want my
I want my
I want my MythTV [mythtv.org]

that is the prise (0)

SeederGOD (665109) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173239)

of interactivity in media

VERY old dup.... (2, Interesting)

tommck (69750) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173247)

Didn't we basically have this same story TWO YEARS AGO [slashdot.org] ????

my 13 yr old cousin.... (5, Funny)

skedastik (742241) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173248)

... accounts for the majority of replays tracked.

Easy to read between the lines (3, Insightful)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173251)

From the article, with emphasis added:
Privacy advocates have decried such technologies as invasive, but TiVo officials say they do not pass along information that would identify individual viewers.

When gathering customer marketing research, TiVo says it does not link viewer data to their name, gender or age -- only into one big database that can identify users by ZIP code.


What's interesting is how the article points out what TiVo does not do. They don't "pass along" information "when gathering customer marketing research".

It's not stated outright, but that sounds like they do record all that information... but it's ok, 'cause they don't use it for marketing purposes.

Which, of course, puts TiVo right up there with the so-called loyalty cards [nocards.org] "privacy" policies. They promise not to resell personal information, but they do gather it, and it's available to anyone who knows a friendly judge.

The bottom line, as usual, is simple. Don't buy anything at Kroger, or watch anything on TiVo, that you wouldn't want [John Ashcroft | your wife's divorce lawyer] to find out about.

By the way, does anyone know if Dish Network's PVR phones home about my rewinding habits?

Re:Easy to read between the lines (2, Insightful)

Ondo (187980) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173336)

It's not stated outright, but that sounds like they do record all that information

The TiVo has been hacked, and the information it sends analyzed. According to the hackers no such information is ever sent to TiVo. Or such was the case some time ago when I last heard about it anyway.

Re: Dish's isn't as tasty as TiVo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8173419)

By the way, does anyone know if Dish Network's PVR phones home about my rewinding habits?
Why would you care? Dish's PVR doesn't have any more features than a VCR. They haven';t gotten around to stealing^h^h^h^^H implementing the TiVo like features yet.

For example, you can tell it to record a given channel at a given time, but you can't get a Season Pass for Red Dwarf.

The Disk PVR is not an alternative to TiVo.

I'll let my TiVo tell them what I'm doing. I'll trust TiVos "never non-aggregated data" promise.

The article reference... (1)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173431)

If you're looking at my "from the article" quote and wondering what I've been smoking... it's not me! The reference changed!

The Slashdot story now links here [cnn.com] , but it originally looked like this:

Sprinkled in the Janet Jackson boob stories is an alarming bit of information: Tivo tracks subscribers' viewing habits [lubbockonline.com] .

At first, I thought, "Is the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal not enough of a "major news outlet" for Michael?" Then, I compared the articles... the Lubbock newspaper didn't even mention the now-famous boob, while CNN didn't even mention the privacy implications!

As curious as I may (or may not) be about Janet Jackson's breast, it has never been caught recording my personal viewing habits. Give me the Avalanche-Journal over CNN, any day.

Boob?! (0, Troll)

conner_bw (120497) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173254)

"Boob tube tracks boob"

What a scoop!

Boob-watching boobs tracked by boob tube boobs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8173379)

Re:Boob-watching boobs tracked by boob tube boobs? (0, Troll)

conner_bw (120497) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173410)

> Boob-watching boobs tracked by boob tube boobs?

Best headline evar!!1!

For Oliver Stone fans (1)

Cleon (471197) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173260)

"Back, and to the left....Back, and to the left..."

(The pitiful thing is, you *know* a video display exactly like that is going on at the FCC right now...)

Tivo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8173269)

Is it possible to use a tivo without paying a monthly fee... but without channel listings? I use a digital box from my cable company, so I wouldn't benefit from it anyway. (or would it be better just to build my own DVR)

Re:Tivo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8173361)

Yes, you can use it for free without tv listings. You'd have to manually set your digital box to the right station, etc.

I don't want to be tracked! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8173270)

... that's why I'll never buy Tivo.

Me (5, Funny)

savagedome (742194) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173277)

I am not sure if that statistic includes me 'coz I haven't un-paused my Tivo yet :)

Re:Me (3, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173422)

I am not sure if that statistic includes me 'coz I haven't un-paused my Tivo yet :)

In the case of the SuperBowl booby, they won't even need to track people online. They just have to measure the incoming rash of remotes coming back under warranty for repair of the replay button.

It's not a big deal... (5, Insightful)

the_skywise (189793) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173286)

They did it last year, they did it the year before that. They stated in their initial company releases that this is what they intended to do.

And you know what?

-DirectTV pay-per-view tracks what I watch...
-My ISP knows what web sites I've requested...
-My credit card company knows what I spend my money on.
-My hospital shares its information with my insurance company, which in turn shares its information with my company. (Because they have to pay their share of the bills)

It's my TV viewing info... I don't care. If anything, if they sell my viewing habits and realize that Firefly and Farscape are more watched than My Big Sweaty Boyfriend... That's a GOOD THING!

Re:It's not a big deal... (1)

Morologous (201459) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173357)

It's my TV viewing info... I don't care. If anything, if they sell my viewing habits and realize that Firefly and Farscape are more watched than My Big Sweaty Boyfriend... That's a GOOD THING!

I couldn't agree more. If Tivo sells my watching habits back to the broadcasters than I'll be more effectively able to 'vote with my remote.'

Re:It's not a big deal... (1)

boy_afraid (234774) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173367)

You forgot that :

-The toll both tags know where you've been.
-Your cell phone knows where your at.
-You rental car knows if you're speeding.
-Your OnStar service in you're car knows where you're at THIS VERY MOMENT.
-Video cameras at the ATM see you

AND
-Your co-workers know what you're talking about in the next cubicle.

Re:It's not a big deal... (1)

Neophytus (642863) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173469)

-Your OnStar service in you're car knows where you're at THIS VERY MOMENT. Maybe I'm the only person in this world that actually walks to the shops or to work most mornings.

Re:It's not a big deal...UNTIL (1, Troll)

objwiz (166131) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173393)

Its not a big deal until one day everyone wonders how we got to the point that there is absolutely no privacy and freedom anymore...


T hey came for the Communists, and I
didn't object - For I wasn't a Communist;
They came for the Socialists, and I
didn't object - For I wasn't a Socialist;
They came for the labor leaders, and I
didn't object - For I wasn't a labor leader;
They came for the Jews, and I didn't
object - For I wasn't a Jew;
Then they came for me -
And there was no one left to object.
Martin Niemoller


With all due respect to the poster, saying it doesnt matter is a lazy ass way of saying I don't care right now, bother when its too late. Sometimes you have to care now to avoid a problem later. Otherwise its just too late to do anything about it. Its like cancer--you can do things now to avoid it or you can wait until you get it at which point its too late.

Re:It's not a big deal... (1)

fenix down (206580) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173411)

...if they sell my viewing habits and realize that Firefly and Farscape are more watched than My Big Sweaty Boyfriend...

"Sir, Tivo says My Big Sweaty Boyfriend beat out Firefly, Farscape, and the State of the Union Address!"
"Cancel the crap, fire the President! Order more Big Sweaty Boyfriends!"

Re:It's not a big deal... (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173428)

The scary thing is... the TiVo data surveys tend to prove that "we" rewind to any moment Britney Spears is on the screen, and "we" won't miss a minute of dumb reality shows...

Apparently, what people say they watch and actually watch are not the same sometimes...

Well that's it now! (3, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173291)

alarming bit of information: Tivo tracks subscribers' viewing habits.

This is unacceptable. From now on, I'll keep my Tivo box disconnected from the phone socket.

Just try to track my boob viewing habbits *now* mssrs Tivo! Ah! That's turned you white hasn't it, hey, hey?

Cable TV? Satellite? Hello, McFly?? (-1, Troll)

NineNine (235196) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173293)

And all of you TV watching drones think that they haven't already been doing this for years with cable TV and satellite? That's pretty fucking naive. And to think that millions of people PAY to have crap fed into their homes, and their viewing habits monitored. Ha! Throw your fucking TV out the window.

Re:Cable TV? Satellite? Hello, McFly?? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173392)

so tell me, Genius;how do they track satallite viewing habits? hmmm?
oh yeah they can't unless you plug the damn thing into a phone socket.

It's good you made the McFly reference, because you're post makes you look like Biff.

There haven't been more people staring at a boob.. (5, Funny)

mikeophile (647318) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173296)

Since Bush's State of the Union address.

hmmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8173299)

They must know I watch alot of porn than.

ANI makes anonymization worthless (2, Informative)

isaac (2852) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173307)

Any anonymization Tivo claims to perform on data uploaded by an individual's Tivo unit is rendered utterly and totally worthless by the medium by which the data is transferred - a landline. Only an idiot would believe that Tivo doesn't use ANI information to tie data to individual users, even if the actual clickstream data being uploaded doesn't have include a serial number.

The marketing opportunities are too valuable to the company for them to ignore the possibility of selling detailed, individual viewer data as a revenue stream.

"Tivo: It's like Gator, for TV!"

-Isaac

Re:ANI makes anonymization worthless (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8173400)

Only an idiot would believe that Tivo doesn't use ANI information to tie data to individual users

I connect to the TiVo service through my broadband [tivo.com] connection. I guess even non-idiots can now believe your statement.

Fortunately... (5, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173311)


> A story from 2002 has more information and makes clear that Tivo does have the capability to record every click you make on the remote control, at all times.

Fortunately, they still don't have the ability to track what your other hand is doing, at any time.

Re:Fortunately... (1)

savagedome (742194) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173443)

Fortunately, they still don't have the ability to track what your other hand is doing, at any time.
The other hand is fiddling with the Tivo remote

Put away the tin foil hats... (1)

ChaoticPup (80891) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173314)

I Tivo'd the game, and I have no problem with them anonomously keeping track of the number of times I rewound and slomo'd through the scene.

This conspiracy stuff can go a little overboard too, ya know.

I, for one, am glad they got a little press from this. Tivo rocks -- 'nuff said.

-- CP

I LIKE It (4, Insightful)

Crispin Cowan (20238) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173319)

I like it that Tivo can track my viewing habits. That way, when I don't watch yet another trite and lame episode of "Friends" and instead choose to watch something interesting [farscape.com] , perhaps the morons in network programming will get a fucking clue.

Crispin, always wanted to be in the Neilson ratings
----
Crispin Cowan, Ph.D.
CTO, Immunix Inc. [immunix.com]

Re:I LIKE It (1)

happyfrogcow (708359) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173412)

After 10 years of Farscape, I'm sure that would become trite and lame as well.

Although, hottie blueish grey alien chicks or jennifer anniston... dilemas dilemas.

Alarm? (2, Funny)

volkris (694) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173324)

Alarm?

What alarm?

This is a non-story.

much more reliable (3, Insightful)

Savatte (111615) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173327)

Personally, I'd much rather have Tivo tracking users than networks relying on nielson ratings. This can only hurt shows like Malcolm In The Middle and Everybody Loves Raymond, two shows people "love" but nobody watches. With accurate ratings, these shows would have ratings lower than enrollment in daycare at neverland ranch.

Speak for yourself... (1)

Bryan Gividen (739949) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173438)

I watch Everybody Loves Raymond. As does my circle of friends. Personal feelings aside, it's won award after award for a comedy series, it's one of the few family safe comedies left on television, and is very clever in taking cliche ideas and plots and twisting them completely around.

Your assertion that nobody watches those shows is debunked by the discovery of me. Remember... never and always usually make a statement not true, so always remember to never use them.

Every click, all the time... (1)

Epyn (589398) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173328)

Well, that's nice and exclusive. So, they just choose days they want to capture user viewing habits? I don't quite understand the whole point, then again I don't see what's wrong with the standard neilsen rating system where you actually get to know they're caring. Even though I rarely wonder about this sort of thing, it's upsetting because I don't know why they want to keep track of thing instead of concentrating on supplying a good consumer service as their primary goal.

People think this is an invasion of privacy? (0)

Yellow_Piss_Hat (745926) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173333)

What about when your mom walked in on you rubbing one out? *THAT* was invasion of privacy.

Or what about when you were at the rest stop taking a leak and some guy plopped his hand through the hole in the stall you were in? If you didn't follow through with the action, that would've been invasion of privacy.

Just because Tivo collects info about your Beastiality watching habits on dogsex channel 99 (a friend of mine watches it), doesn't mean they're gonna tell your new girlfriend that you get off on horses and peacocks.

Well here is the TiVo press release. (5, Informative)

Aaton (216314) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173337)

The offical press release from TiVo [tivo.com] .

Is show some more detail about what commercials were most watched also...

I *want* them to know what I watch (4, Interesting)

Wee (17189) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173339)

I'd much rather they pass along anonymous ratings data based on actual viewing statistics of a random cross-section of TiVo-owning Americans than opinion surveys of people named Nielsen (or some other small group). I know there's more to it than that, but you get the point. A statistically meaningful sample is a good thing.

I just can't help but think that if real viewing stats were used as predictors of progamming popularity, we might have more stuff like Firefly, Mythbusters, Penn & Teller's Bullshit, etc. and less Everyone Loves Raymond, Friends, Frasier, or a million indistinct reality TV shows.

If it keeps shows I want to watch on the air longer, then let them see what I'm watching and recording, I say.

-B

Re:I *want* them to know what I watch (1)

jratcliffe (208809) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173440)

"I just can't help but think that if real viewing stats were used as predictors of progamming popularity, we might have more stuff like Firefly, Mythbusters, Penn & Teller's Bullshit, etc. and less Everyone Loves Raymond, Friends, Frasier, or a million indistinct reality TV shows."

What you really mean to say is "I just can't help but think that if real viewing stats of Slashdot readers only were used as predictors of progamming popularity, we might have more stuff like Firefly, Mythbusters, Penn & Teller's Bullshit, etc. and less Everyone Loves Raymond, Friends, Frasier, or a million indistinct reality TV shows."

Face it, networks show what people watch, and people watch dreck. Nobody's ever gone out of business appealing to the lowest common denominator.

as a longtime Tivo owner... (5, Insightful)

egomaniac (105476) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173341)

I am utterly failing to be either surprised or alarmed.

OH NO! THEY CAN TELL THAT LOTS OF PEOPLE WATCHED THAT SCENE! DEAR LORD, THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

Ummmm ... so? Yes, I would be concerned if they said "Matt Hooper, 26, of Colorado Springs replayed the Janet Jackson breast scene a record 126 times. Sales statistics in the area also show an unusual spike in hand lotion and tissue purchases."

They haven't said that, or anything remotely resembling that. They have said "Tivo users watched this particular segment of the Superbowl more than anything else." So?

Yes, Tivo could do something horrible with my personal information. But then again, Hustler could also publish a big long list of everybody that subscribes to it, complete with home addresses, but they don't. Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but at some point we just have to have some level of trust in other people. Tivo has said that my information is kept anonymous, and has given me no reason to doubt their word, so I don't see a big problem with trusting them.

And before you start the "oh-my-god-what-an-idiot-for-trusting-a-big-compan y" standard Slashdot response, think about what you have trusted companies with. How many companies have your name and address? Your home phone number? Your bank account information? Your credit card information? Why did you trust them with such information, if no companies can ever be trusted?

If you have used a credit card, you must trust every single store at which you have ever swiped your credit card at least as much as I trust Tivo. If you have ever applied for a loan, you've coughed up your bank account information. And you're worried about someone knowing what television shows you're watching?

To all non-TiVO people who didn't see the boobs. (5, Informative)

IdleTime (561841) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173343)

Here are a few links to a page on Norways biggest Newspapers website that show all the picture uncensored and even have the uncensored movie of her. Oh yes, it also includes the streaker that nobody in the US saw.

Click on "Neste Bilde" to see the next picture [www.vg.no]
Video [www.vg.no]

The real problem. (3, Funny)

Murmer (96505) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173351)

I'm not so concerned about Jackson's partly-revealed tit (she was wearing a pastie, people, there was nothing to see there that doesn't make the cover of SI once a year) but I swear to God, seeing Mike Ditka talk about how much better his wang works with his new pills is going to haunt me until the end of my days.

I am going to be scarred for life.

This could be a good thing (3, Insightful)

Str1derv7 (614229) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173354)

I don't know about you guys but I wouldn't mind Tivo tracking me, in fact, I think I want it to. It'd be nice to track the statistics of some of the shows I like, possibly keeping them on air longer. This could be a good thing.

MoveOn.org's Boycott (5, Interesting)

limekiller4 (451497) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173358)

Some of you may have heard that CBS refused to air the winning MoveOn.org's " Bush in 30 Seconds [bushin30seconds.org] " ad. Just prior to the Superbowl, MoveOn.org asked their subscribers/readers to boycott [moveonvoterfund.org] CBS by switching from CBS during the commercials to CNN, who were airing their 30-second spot.

Presumably, Tivo knows precisely how many people actually went through with it.

Re:MoveOn.org's Boycott (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8173468)

personally, i'm very glad they didn't play the moveon ad. god knows, i wouldn't want my kids exposed to a controversial issue such as the so-called 'budget deficit' among the hours of violence, boobs and commercials for beer and hard-on pills.

bravo, CBS, for keeping our children safe.

obl. mythtv link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8173373)

mythtv.org [mythtv.org]

[rattles tin cup containing a few pieces of karma] ..actually who cares about karma

love, AC

the joke is no them (1)

Ozric (30691) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173378)

I watched the superbowl in HDTV ... so even tho I have a Tivo. My digital outputs go right to my TV. So .. I never touch my TIVO remote while watching football or any other content that is in HDVT format.

As long as it's Anonymous it's a "Good Thing" (2, Insightful)

sflory (2747) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173384)

I'm in favor of how Tivo handles this. I want the networks to know what I like. I want advertisers to know what commercials I actually watch. That way they can actually write stuff I want to watch.

Phew (1)

savagedome (742194) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173385)

The exercise revealed a 180 percent spike

I am sure that it doesn't account for my Dad's Tivo or else it would say 180 percent and counting...

compared to Michael Powell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8173399)

who cares if Tivo records what you watch. I find it far less annoying that Powell going on about Janet showing some skin. why our country believes it is perfectly fine to show violence, but not some nudity is beyond me.

Yet another reason .... (1)

GrigorPDX (513102) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173423)

... to build your own [slashdot.org] .

Nobody is selling your viewing habits to the highest bidder.

If that's what it takes... (1)

mcarland (671981) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173456)

for them to realize how popular boobs on network TV are, so we can get more, power to them!

If they're not giving out any of my personal information, what do I care what they do with the aggregate data.

I'm all for privacy, but not to the ridiculous level of some of these posters. I swear some people must take alternate roads to avoid those car counting strips.

I'd like to formally announce that it's my ... (2, Funny)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 10 years ago | (#8173461)

pet monkey Artemis who continually switches the TV to Cinemax After Dark. I am asleep when this is happening and cannot be held responsible for what my monkey is doing. He also watches HSN during the day and has ordered over $614,000 dollars worth of Hummels and commerative plates.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?