Hey, Watcha Watching

HEY, WATCHA WATCHING?….Here’s the latest from the wild, wild west of invading your privacy for fun and profit:

Charter Communications Inc. said Wednesday that it would sell information it collects about the viewing preferences of 330,000 of its cable TV customers in the Los Angeles area.

….To protect the privacy of its customers, no identifying information will be included in the data, said Jim Heneghan, senior vice president for ad sales for Charter….The information will show when a digital set-top box is turned on, the specific channel the box is tuned to and whether a show is being recorded. It will reveal when channels are switched and when the television is turned off.

Sure, sure, no identifying information. For now. But can I ask a question: why does Charter collect and store this information in the first place? They have no legitimate use for it except to sell it to people.

Like, say, political campaigns. Which might explain why politicians don’t seem very aroused by the massive data collection on our personal habits that pervades every aspect of our lives these days.

Of course, the other reason, frankly, is that most voters really don’t seem to care much. I guess that means I’m a dying breed. But even so, I’ll use a supermarket snooping loyalty card only when it gets stuffed into my cold, dead hands.

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