Keith Smith - My Blog

Why you should review your ISP Advertising and Marketing Preferences

Sunday, March 11, 2018 - by Keith A. Smith

I was recently asked by a colleague of my mine if it was possible that Comcast could be targeting ads based content that was viewed while using the services. I said “it’s possible if you haven’t opted out of anything preferences” typically service providers automatically opt-in customers into data collection practices now. My colleague logged into the account —> went into settings then clicked on communications & ad preferences to find 4 very interesting area’s under “Advertising Preferences” and “Marketing Preferences”

My colleague clicked on the edit for the cable targeted advertising and was shocked to see that the opt in box was checked and immediately switched to Opt out for advanced advertising preferences: activity data and ad groups. On the same page we saw links to the privacy notice and the FAQ for advanced advertising preferences, the privacy policy clearly stated that

We also collect information about your account and your use of the Services, which may include:
    •    your account number;
    •    billing, payment, and deposit history;
    •    maintenance information;
    •    the types of Services to which you subscribe;
    •    the device identifiers and network addresses of equipment used with your account;
    •    voice commands;
    •    video and audio recordings;
    •    records indicating the number and types of devices connected to our network;
    •    technical information about your Service-related devices, including customization settings and preferences;
    •    network traffic data;
    •    information about your use of the Services and their features, including video activity data, as well as Internet or online information such as web addresses and other activity data in order to render Internet service; and
    •    additional information about the Service options you have chosen.

"When you use the Services, our cable system automatically generates, transmits, and collects much of this information as part of providing the Services to you. For example, we receive information about the use of set-top boxes, remote controls, program guides, video players, applications, and other devices and software connected to our cable system (“video activity data”). The video activity data includes, for example, which channels, programs, and advertisements are viewed and for how long. It may also include information about navigation through program guides and applications, and use of devices like remote controls and tablets. If you select various features of our equipment, such as voice commands or search, we also will collect and process the data needed to fulfill your requests."

As we continued to review the notices and policies we saw more of information which led to me suggest the use of a VPN service, there are many providers of this service now and most of in the IT field have started suggesting this more frequently.


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