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IPFS News Link • Surveillance

How Did the 'Netflix Reality Check' Gather Its Data?

•, By Brady Dale

TV news was abuzz Thursday morning after Variety reported on a presentation by Alan Wurtzel, a president at NBCUniversal, who said that streaming shows weren't cutting into broadcast television viewership to the degree that much of the press seems to believe. Mr. Wurtzel used numbers that estimated viewership using data gathered by mobile devices that listened to what people were watching and extrapolating viewership across the country.

Wait, what? It's using the microphones on cell phones to listen? Who's it listening in on?

The company behind the technology is called Symphony Advanced Media. The Observer spoke to its CEO Charles Buchwalter, about how it works, via phone. "Our entire focus is to add insights and perspectives on an entire new paradigm around how consumers are consuming media across  platforms," he told the Observer.

2 Comments in Response to

Comment by Psychictaxi
Entered on:

I TOLD YOU SO I told you so I told you so! CAMERAS TOO!!!

Comment by Powell Gammill
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The Internet of Things that Talk About You Behind Your Back

SilverPush is an Indian startup that's trying to figure out all the different computing devices you own. It embeds inaudible sounds into the webpages you read and the television commercials you watch. Software secretly embedded in your computers, tablets, and smartphones picks up the signals, and then uses cookies to transmit that information back to SilverPush. The result is that the company can track you across your different devices. It can correlate the television commercials you watch with the web searches you make. It can link the things you do on your tablet with the things you do on your work computer. Your computerized things are talking about you behind your back, and for the most part you can't stop them­ -- or even learn what they're saying. This isn't new, but it's getting worse.

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