The TiVo non-controversy

By | February 6, 2004

I don’t understand how someone can own a TiVo and not know that TiVo can track your viewing habits. This is spelled out explicitly in TiVo’s user agreement. There’s even a telephone number given in the agreement to call if you want to opt-out of this data gathering. There is nothing hidden about TiVo’s data aggregation.

Yet there is a big fuss this week from TiVo owners who didn’t know that TiVo can track their viewing habits. Does no one read the documentation that comes with the products they purchase? Does no one read information about TiVo available on TiVos website? Or the previous articles (including much the same types of articles after last year’s Superbowl) written about TiVo and data aggregation?

This particularly struck me as funny: “longtime TiVo user Jerrell Wilson wrote in an e-mail to CNET ‘I have been a tireless sales rep with all my friends. I should be on commission from TiVo. Thus arises the most severe form of anger: that deriving from a perceived betrayal of trust.'” “Perceived betrayal of trust”? Huh? So he is upset that TiVo doesn’t behave the way he thought they would behave? Dude, read the information that came with your TiVo!

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