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YouView's Going to Spy On You, Phoning Home With What You Watch and When

By Sam Gibbs on at

Your brand new YouView box is going to be tracking your every move, err, watch. The internet-connected box will tell broadcasters that, yes, you do actually watch I'm a Celebrity and EastEnders, no matter how many times you tell people you don't.

All your embarrassing TV watching will be tracked and analysed, just like your clicks, views and comments on the web. This makes for a landmark change to the way broadcasters work. Normally, apart from the pay-per-view and streaming services, TV people just send their signal out into the ether and hope you're watching. They get viewing statistics from a small, select bunch of tracked nation-summing goggle box-watchers, but Joe Bloggs on the street is free to watch anything and everything away from the prying eyes of the networks.

YouView's planning to build Google-style profiles on people, recording your every watching secret. No doubt said tracking will involved adverts too, so YouView can then get a better idea of whether ads are actually watched or not. According to YouView, the data collected with be anonymised, but the scary thing is YouView has staff from the much maligned US-based Phorm big brother-style tracking company.

Should you be worried about this? Probably not. Do you even care whether people know what kinds of TV programs you watch? I can't say it really bothers me. Apart from the odd show here and there like Have I Got News For You and sport, most of my TV watching comes over streaming anyway, so I'm already being tracked. Still, I hope YouView puts some sort of opt-out facility in the mix, for those that are paranoid everyone's watching them. [The Independent]