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Not even a year after its data privacy lawsuit, TV company Vizio wants to target your home with ads specific to your family

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This Tuesday, Vizio, the smart TV manufacturer, has formed a consortium with nine leading media and advertising companies. They have partnered to develop a standard that allows smart TVs to target households and send specific advertisements. Major TV networks like NBC Universal, CBS Corp and advertising technology company, Xandr were among the nine companies in the consortium.

This project of developing a standard to enable targeted advertisements to a household was named, ‘Project OAR—Open Addressable Ready.’ Through this project, the consortium aims to develop an addressable advertising solution for TV industry. Addressable advertising is about targeting individuals based on their interests and showing relevant advertisements to them.

It has been a long-time dream for the TV industry to equip themselves with the capability of performing addressable advertising. The industry has taken several measures in the past to make this possible and faced many setbacks with minimal progress.

Jodie McAfee, the senior vice president of sales and marketing at Inscape said these efforts by TV manufacturers to achieve addressable advertising practices has hindered the TV Industry’s growth.

One of the major reasons behind the inability to perform targeted advertisements on TV is the lack of cookies. Unlike computers and smartphones, TVs don’t have a cookie system. For addressable advertising to be possible, cookies play a major role.

The project OAR is working on this aspect and trying to build a solution for the industry to enable addressable advertising. The consortium wants to define the technical standards for Smart TVs that enable addressable advertising. They are still yet to decide on the technological aspects required to facilitate these changes.

Inscape, the subsidiary of Vizio specializing in smart TV data will build the application for this advertising model. They have also said they will be making this application open standard. This way, all the TV manufacturers will integrate the standard in their process. Also, Vizio committed to integrating the application on its future smart TVs.

With this development coming into light, several privacy advocates are upset over potential chances of privacy violation. They are of an opinion that this sort of a technological advance might make TV user vulnerable in terms of privacy.

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