AT&T CEO claims HBO will glean consumer data from Apple TV viewers

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 37
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,208member
    Soli said:
    This shouldn't be confusing. Any on-demand, streaming service will have to authenticate the user account and you can easily check most (all?) of them to see a history of your viewing habits. This is all done via the streaming service's servers, which Apple has no control.
    If your subscription is with Apple, then Apple authenticates you and takes their cut. You are then just a number to AT&T or any other on-demand content provider.
    So you're saying that if I have an HBO subscription that I can't switch from my Apple TV to another device that logs into HBO's service because they're not tied together? That I won't be able to stop on particular episode of GoT and be able to pick it up from another device because HBO won't have a clue about my subscription? I know I don't want that. I like that I can watch Netflix or Hulu on my Apple TV and then start up on another device via the browser without having to figure out where the hell I had previously stopped.
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 22 of 37
    If you want to have HBO in the ATV App you need an HBO subscription, the stream itself comes from HBO, so they now perfectly what you are watching, but they don't get all the other stuff, they do not know what else you are watching trough the ATV app ... this all discussion is semantics ... he is just trying to damage Apple's reputation, I just do not get why ...

    StrangeDaysbshank
  • Reply 23 of 37
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,929member
    temperor said:
    ... he is just trying to damage Apple's reputation, I just do not get why ...

    Huh? The conversation he was having was not about Apple. That was just addressed in a question from a media member (investor?) about 7 minutes into the video.
    edited March 28 muthuk_vanalingamrandominternetperson
  • Reply 24 of 37
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,929member
    maestro64 said:
    It comes down to the details about the users. Just saying  x number of people are watching that is fine, but providing more details about who you are is different thing. I think Apple will share high level information but nothing specific about. Google I the on the other hand brings lots of data about you and your interest and habits and use it to make money.
    So does HBO, and its parent ATT. No idea if ATT also keeps it all to themselves, secure and private. You'd have to read their privacy policy.
    https://www.hbo.com/privacy-policy
    edited March 28 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 25 of 37
    If your subscription is with HBO directly, then HBO knows who you are, at least for billing purposes.  If your subscription is with Apple, and you're getting HBO through them, HBO doesn't necessarily know who you are, but they would know that they have a discrete user.  They can track that user even if they can't match it with a name and address.  I don't think Apple is going to be able to stop them from doing that, short of some tactics that seem like they would adversely affect the user experience.
    randominternetpersonmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 26 of 37
    peteopeteo Posts: 367member
    Soli said:
    This shouldn't be confusing. Any on-demand, streaming service will have to authenticate the user account and you can easily check most (all?) of them to see a history of your viewing habits. This is all done via the streaming service's servers, which Apple has no control.
    Except with apple TV's channels the streams are from apple, not HBO. Apple has decided to host all the content. (this is why it's different than just using the HBO app) So they can make sure the stream is good and keep privacy (at least that's what they are saying)
  • Reply 27 of 37
    peteopeteo Posts: 367member
    temperor said:
    If you want to have HBO in the ATV App you need an HBO subscription, the stream itself comes from HBO, so they now perfectly what you are watching, but they don't get all the other stuff, they do not know what else you are watching trough the ATV app ... this all discussion is semantics ... he is just trying to damage Apple's reputation, I just do not get why ...

    That is only if you use the HBO app. Apple TV "channels" the content is hosted by apple. Also its paid through apple (think of apple like cable a provider, like comcast) AT&T only gets the data apple wants to give them.
    edited March 28
  • Reply 28 of 37
    peteopeteo Posts: 367member
    If your subscription is with HBO directly, then HBO knows who you are, at least for billing purposes.  If your subscription is with Apple, and you're getting HBO through them, HBO doesn't necessarily know who you are, but they would know that they have a discrete user.  They can track that user even if they can't match it with a name and address.
    How? Apple is hosting the media, they are buying the content from AT&T (just like a cable company). AT&T will have 0 idea who is streaming it since its not touching any part of at&t. Only data AT&T will get is what apple wants to share with them. I am not saying apple with not share this data, just that they said at the event they said they will not
    edited March 28
  • Reply 29 of 37
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,929member
    peteo said:
    If your subscription is with HBO directly, then HBO knows who you are, at least for billing purposes.  If your subscription is with Apple, and you're getting HBO through them, HBO doesn't necessarily know who you are, but they would know that they have a discrete user.  They can track that user even if they can't match it with a name and address.
    How? Apple is hosting the media, they are buying the content from AT&T (just like a cable company). AT&T will have 0 idea who is streaming it since its not touching any part of at&t. Only data AT&T will get is what apple wants to share with them. I am not saying apple with not share this data, just that they said at the event they said they will not
    You're saying Apple is downloading the entire HBO catalog to their own servers and then streaming it. Where did you get that idea from? That is NOT how it works. 
    edited March 28 randominternetpersonmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 30 of 37
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,334member
    Randall is blowing smoke up some skirts here. If Tim were to call him a liar the next AT&T CEO may be even worse.
  • Reply 31 of 37
    Stephenson: "it's critical to advertising delivery" Is HBO going to start serving ads?
    bshank
  • Reply 32 of 37
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,929member
    Stephenson: "it's critical to advertising delivery" Is HBO going to start serving ads?
    ATT...
    and they already do.
    edited March 28 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 33 of 37
    Why would you assume he's lying?  I'm guessing it's because you don't understand what Apple qualifies as personal information. 
    Apple defines personal information as: data that can be used to identify or contact a single person.  So they can easily say they aren't sharing personal information without being dishonest.  Apple never states they won't share non-personal information.  Non-personal data has a less stringent sharing parameters.  In fact Apple states: We also collect data in a form that does not, on its own, permit direct association with any specific individual. We may collect, use, transfer, and disclose non-personal information for any purpose. 
    Examples of non-personal information and some examples of how Apple uses it:  We may collect information such as occupation, language, zip code, area code, unique device identifier, referrer URL, location, and the time zone where an Apple product is used so that we can better understand customer behavior and improve our products, services, and advertising. 

    So he has no reason to lie because Apple is probably not sharing personal information with AT&T beyond what's necessary to manage the account.  But non-personal information like the type listed above?  Yeah, I bet they're getting some of that.
    "data that can be used to identify or contact a single person."

    Realize that "identify" and "contact" are carefully chosen words with meanings defined by Apple and similar entities who gather data.

    Consider this:

    Suppose I place someone outside of your home who logs every publicly visible action you make: the times you come and go, what you're wearing, what direction you take when you leave, etc. And, when you leave, another person follows you to log your every movement. Throughout this data collection, your exact legal name and home address are not gathered (because I don't want to be accused of tracking your personal information), but over time, I know a lot about you: where you work, shop, eat, exercise, drink, find entertainment, worship, etc. I know enough about you to place highly personalized advertisements in front of you anywhere you go, on a digital billboard, in your doctor's office, in an elevator, at the gym, in a grocery store's produce section. These ads are so personalized that they border on the creepy, BUT... no ad ever called you by name or referred to your home address, so even though they know it was "you" they didn't know it was YOU.  What constitutes contact in advertising? —Addressing you by your legal name?

    Note how the words you quoted from Apple play out.  "We also collect data in a form that does not, on its own, permit direct association with any specific individual"

    Digest that one phrase:  ON ITS OWN.

    This does not mean that, when aggregated with other data, one cannot be identified to a degree that does, effectively, identify a specific, trackable individual. Choosing not to take the additional step of identifying that individual by legal name and home address, keeps these data collecting and aggregating entities technically out of legal jeopardy, but by the time a profile is assembled, a legal name and address is really superfluous unless they want to start an old fashioned direct mail campaign.
    beowulfschmidtmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 34 of 37
    gatorguy said:
    Stephenson: "it's critical to advertising delivery" Is HBO going to start serving ads?
    ATT...
    and they already do.
    Do they serve them on HBO?
  • Reply 35 of 37
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,929member
    gatorguy said:
    Stephenson: "it's critical to advertising delivery" Is HBO going to start serving ads?
    ATT...
    and they already do.
    Do they serve them on HBO?
    I don't know where you get them from. 
    https://digiday.com/media/5-things-learned-atts-media-advertising-business-2018/
    edited March 28
  • Reply 36 of 37
    Why would you assume he's lying?  I'm guessing it's because you don't understand what Apple qualifies as personal information. 
    Apple defines personal information as: data that can be used to identify or contact a single person.  So they can easily say they aren't sharing personal information without being dishonest.  Apple never states they won't share non-personal information.  Non-personal data has a less stringent sharing parameters.  In fact Apple states: We also collect data in a form that does not, on its own, permit direct association with any specific individual. We may collect, use, transfer, and disclose non-personal information for any purpose. 
    Examples of non-personal information and some examples of how Apple uses it:  We may collect information such as occupation, language, zip code, area code, unique device identifier, referrer URL, location, and the time zone where an Apple product is used so that we can better understand customer behavior and improve our products, services, and advertising. 

    So he has no reason to lie because Apple is probably not sharing personal information with AT&T beyond what's necessary to manage the account.  But non-personal information like the type listed above?  Yeah, I bet they're getting some of that.
    "data that can be used to identify or contact a single person."

    Realize that "identify" and "contact" are carefully chosen words with meanings defined by Apple and similar entities who gather data.

    Consider this:

    Suppose I place someone outside of your home who logs every publicly visible action you make: the times you come and go, what you're wearing, what direction you take when you leave, etc. And, when you leave, another person follows you to log your every movement. Throughout this data collection, your exact legal name and home address are not gathered (because I don't want to be accused of tracking your personal information), but over time, I know a lot about you: where you work, shop, eat, exercise, drink, find entertainment, worship, etc. I know enough about you to place highly personalized advertisements in front of you anywhere you go, on a digital billboard, in your doctor's office, in an elevator, at the gym, in a grocery store's produce section. These ads are so personalized that they border on the creepy, BUT... no ad ever called you by name or referred to your home address, so even though they know it was "you" they didn't know it was YOU.  What constitutes contact in advertising? —Addressing you by your legal name?

    Note how the words you quoted from Apple play out.  "We also collect data in a form that does not, on its own, permit direct association with any specific individual"

    Digest that one phrase:  ON ITS OWN.

    This does not mean that, when aggregated with other data, one cannot be identified to a degree that does, effectively, identify a specific, trackable individual. Choosing not to take the additional step of identifying that individual by legal name and home address, keeps these data collecting and aggregating entities technically out of legal jeopardy, but by the time a profile is assembled, a legal name and address is really superfluous unless they want to start an old fashioned direct mail campaign.
    I like the gist of your post, but your specific example about logging activity about a person is not accurate.  Where you say "(because I don't want to be accused of tracking your personal information)" your understanding of "personal information" does not align with current legal norms.  For example, here's the definition from the European GDPR (which is the 800 gorilla in the room, since it just went into effect with the potential for billion dollar penalties):

    ‘personal data’ means any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (‘data subject’); an identifiable natural person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that natural person
    https://gdpr-info.eu/art-4-gdpr/ ;

    Any data you collected about a person by standing outside their home would be personal data, period.

    Having said that, you're absolutely right that you have to parse Apple's (and everyone's) words very carefully.  They are well aware of the regulations and are using terms and phrasing based on those regulations.  Having said that, my understanding is that IP addresses are (in some jurisdictions) considered personal identifiers, so even though they technically require additional information to make them useful, no sane company would assert that a data set with IP addresses would count as 
     "data in a form that does not, on its own, permit direct association with any specific individual".  I believe they are hedging their bets against more elaborate matching algorithms.
  • Reply 37 of 37
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,685member
    Factor in AT&T's gall to display "5G" on an iPhone when it is in fact not 5G, I will take anything this guy says with a grain of salt.
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