Sky Player asks permission to spy on you

Sky has sent an email to customers explaining the changes coming with AdSmart, a targeted advertising system that builds a profile on you

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm

Sky is updating customers on its AdSmart targeted-advertising system. An email is doing the rounds that highlights the updated terms and conditions now in effect, ready for AdSmart's launch on Sky Player in January.

Sky combines the information it holds about you with data bought from third parties. This includes data such as your postcode for regionally targeted ads, and your browsing history on the Sky Web site. Will it know we like pies? We do like pies. Sky will also personalise ads based on which TV package you have. We wonder if there'll be any Apple ads if AdSmart works out you're watching Sky Player in Windows 7.

Sky informed its customers about the changes with an email. Consumer blog bitterwallet has delved into the T&Cs and come up with some interesting tidbits, including a clause on "safeguarding national security".

AdSmart installs cookies on your computer to track your behaviour: Audience Science enables behavioural tracking, and Adtech tracks the ads. You can opt out of both but, counter-intuitively, this involves installing two more cookies. Clear your cookies and the opt-out cookies disappear too.

Hey, we managed to get through an entire article on targeted advertising without mentioning Minority Report! Kudos to us. While we're on the subject of cookies, banish those hump day blues with CNET alumnus Ella Morton and everyone's favourite blue-furred om nom nommer.