Consumers Unconcerned About “Spy” Set-Top Boxes

Most consumers don’t have serious concerns about so-called “spy” set-tops, which could be used to serve targeted ads or program recommendations, according to the results of a new survey. Still, 30% of consumers surveyed said they would “never” accept such monitoring and 13% said they “probably” would reject such a service. Only 14% of those surveyed said they “don’t mind at all.” About 24% said they were neutral on the idea and 20% agreed that they had “a few reservations” but in general wouldn’t object if the overall service improved. For now, the question is largely hypothetical, but last month, the potential for privacy abuses with the technology prompted a U.S. representative to introduce legislation that would force video providers to display the message “We are watching you” if they use devices with cameras that monitor the activity of viewers.

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