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FTC Fall Technology Series: Smart TVs

  • Constitution Center 400 7th St SW Washington, DC, 20506 USA (map)

Consumers enjoy recommendations based on their television viewing habits (“viewers who watched Mr. Robot… may enjoy Fight Club”), but who else knows what you’re watching? The golden age of television has arrived with the golden age of television tracking. In 2016, virtually all television delivery systems – smart TVs, streaming devices, game consoles, apps, and even old-fashioned set top boxes – track consumers’ viewing habits, and sometimes in new and unexpected ways. Television and streaming device manufacturers, software developers, and the advertising industry are collaborating to learn more about what consumers are watching. These collaborations are allowing advertisers to precisely target consumers and better understand what ads are working. Consumers may even find advertisements based on their television viewing habits appearing on their phones and desktop browsers. The Smart TV workshop will explore the following questions:

What are the roles of hardware manufacturers and software developers in creating tracking technologies?
What do consumers understand about how their entertainment preferences are being tracked, disclosed, and used for various purposes?
How are entertainment preferences being linked to individuals or to individuals’ device graphs?
How is the advertising industry using this information?
What are some best practices for addressing consumer privacy on entertainment systems?

Later Event: September 15
FTC's PrivacyCon 2017