1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

TiVo Search vs. Privacy

Discussion in 'TiVo Search Feedback - Beta Release (Archive)' started by tt881, May 4, 2009.

  1. tt881

    tt881 New Member

    21
    0
    Dec 14, 2002
    It is not at all obvious why most (if not all) of the primary promoted features of the new TiVo Search could not be provided without requiring opt-in status (e.g., spilling of Now Playing contents back to TiVo) from users.

    While lack of opt-in would obviously negate the ability to make suggestions on a history-associated basis, the other broad, new, search capabilities could still be made available.

    Given the understanding that TiVo's revenue model is now heavily oriented toward the monetization of detailed user activity data, above and beyond the fees that users pay for TiVo equipment and services, is it being too skeptical to assert that the opt-in requirement in TiVo Search appears to be primarily designed to try encourage opt-in selections from persons concerned about their privacy who would not ordinarily be willing to opt-in?
     
  2. dswallow

    dswallow Save the ModeratŠ¾r TCF Club

    50,979
    32
    Dec 3, 2000
    Long...
    Because that the information is transmitted to TiVo at all is why they want you to opt in in order to permit that to happen; that's all it is. It's basically necessary because of the high paranoid levels of some members of society and their propensity to sue everyone all the time as a pastime.
     
  3. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

    7,902
    0
    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    Keep in mind TiVo Search is not run from your box. It is run from remote servers. Your box only displays the server output.

    Could a future version of the TiVo software include a version of TiVo Search that runs direct from the box, so a remote server would not need access to your lineup, season passes, To Do List, etc? Possibly. But that's not the current implementation.

    Resale of anonymous viewing information and other technology revenues amounted to less the one-nineth the subscription revenues in FY2009. While I'm sure TiVo would say that it's an important part of their business, it's also a small part of their business.
     
  4. nrc

    nrc Cracker Soul

    2,458
    0
    Nov 17, 1999
    Living in a...
    TiVo doesn't need you to opt in for their data gathering activity. They only need you not to opt out. What TiVo sells is anonymous, aggregated data. Their privacy policy states that even if you opt in, "TiVo will not sell or otherwise disclose your Personally Identifiable Viewing Information to Third Parties (as defined in Section 3.1) without your express consent."

    TiVo Search is aware of what is in your now playing list and what you have scheduled. If you search for something that is already scheduled to record it will show that in TiVo Search. If you search for something that exists in your Now Playing it will offer the option to play the program now.

    Since TiVo Search is running from TiVo's servers it needs to pass that information back to TiVo for those features to work. Maybe someday they'll offer a version that allows features that require that information to be gracefully dropped but I doubt that's a top priority.
     
  5. JohnDiamant

    JohnDiamant New Member

    14
    0
    Feb 16, 2009
    I'd heard that the reason TiVo search beta ran on their servers instead of locally was *because* it is in beta (running from the server makes frequent code updates much easier). Hopefully, once the beta completes, the need for opt-in will also disappear.
     
  6. wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Ziphead

    10,369
    22
    Aug 2, 2003
    AFAICT, the reason it runs on their servers is because it's an HME app. None of those run on the TiVo. Theoretically, they could, but the TiVo is underpowered. And TiVo Inc. likes to write their HME apps in Java, which isn't present on the TiVo boxes last I checked. There's only native code (C or C++), and TCL (using an interpreter built into tivoapp).
     
  7. dswallow

    dswallow Save the ModeratŠ¾r TCF Club

    50,979
    32
    Dec 3, 2000
    Long...
    The content being searched by that app could never be copied onto everybody's TiVo to have the search be performed locally, evenif the TiVo's CPU, memory and disk I/O performance could allow it to do so in a timely manner; that necessitates sending the search elsewhere to be performed, and that's all the "opt-in privacy agreement" is about.

    And as the app is HME, it runs elsewhere, and thus needs to save configuration info elsewhere, too, so any persistent data between invocations of the app needing to be maintained is kept around.
     
  8. JohnDiamant

    JohnDiamant New Member

    14
    0
    Feb 16, 2009
    If the search app could run locally, it could send search terms which didn't include personally identifiable information (PII) to TiVo's servers and further filter the results locally by the PII. There's no need for all the searcheable data to reside locally. As an example, it could send channel line up designator to servers, but locally filter on channels I receive or favorites (since these are tied to a specific TiVo unit). On the other hand, if changing from server-based to local execution would require a complete application rewrite, that would be pretty unattractive to TiVo.
     

Share This Page