Viewing data flashed from cable boxes is being used to monitor family viewing habits and then target advertising more selectively to cable customers. The Wall Street Journal reports the new process comes from Navic Networks, an interactive TV company in Massachusetts, comparable to technology used by Internet advertisers, and is undergoing tests with several different cable operators.
In one test, realtor Re/Max, which normally places ads in home improvement shows like HGTV's 'House Hunters', was able to quickly trace target socio-economic groups to other shows. The cable operators claim there are no privacy considerations. "The viewing behavior they have can't be tied back to a person or to a household," says one executive.