Get smart? Dialing in on Smart TV

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Whether they’re tuned to “The Real Houseplants of Poughkeepsie” (guilty as charged, Your Honor) or more high-brow fare, TVs are a lot smarter than many people realize. Smart TVs, streaming devices, game consoles, apps and set-top boxes may track consumers’ viewing habits in one way or another. The benefits of tracking technology are apparent anytime a person follows a “Viewers who watched The Night Manager also enjoyed The Last Panthers” recommendation. But what about the privacy implications? That’s just one of the topics on the playlist at the FTC’s third Fall Technology Series on Smart TV, scheduled for December 7, 2016.

According to the agenda, Bureau of Consumer Protection Director Jessica Rich will set the stage with opening remarks at 1:00 ET.  She’ll change the channel to Justin Brookman, Policy Director of the FTC’s Office of Technology, Research, & Investigation, who will discuss the Smart TV ecosystem.

The first panel will discuss New Frontiers in Media Measurement and Targeting – how Smart TVs provide key metrics, how the technology can target consumers across devices, and how companies and self-regulatory groups are addressing the challenges of providing consumers with transparency and choice.

The second panel will focus on Consumer Understanding and Regulatory Framework. What do consumers know about the new world of smart entertainment – and what do they think about it? What information is collected about them, with whom is it shared, and how can consumers find out more about what goes on behind the scenes? The speakers also will consider the legal protections or regulatory structures relevant to how the information is collected and used.

Registration for the half-day event opens at noon at the FTC’s Constitution Center conference facility, located at 400 7th Street, S.W., in Washington. Can’t make it to DC on December 7th? We’ll answer the question before you ask it: Of course, you can watch on your own smart device. A WATCH THE WEBCAST button will go live on the event page shortly before the 1:00 ET start.

We’re also accepting public comments about Smart TV.  File online by January 6, 2017.



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