The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ran a 3 part technology series this Fall. On December 7th, they held their final workshop on the timely topic of SmartTV. I listened to the workshop and found the information presented both informative and chilling.

The informative part comes from the insights offered by the various experts — FTC privacy attorneys, technologists working for companies developing the new SmartTV and related technologies and developers working for companies that want to collect and monetize the increasing flow of information.

SmartTV is the catch term for the types of new apps and streaming services being offered now and developed for the near future. The new technologies will, very succinctly, pose the real possibility of more information being captured about a consumer’s viewing habits. That is a rich data source for entities wanting to build and send more ads and ever more specialized customized ads to consumers.

SmartTV is not some far off technology. It’s here and consumers need to be ever more aware of the kinds of information these new devices are capable of collecting and sharing before making a purchase.

Why do I think this SmartTV workshop was so timely? It came right in the midst of the holiday shopping season when consumers are buying, among other items, new TVs and other devices. A good time for consumers to really examine a device before buying it.