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Canoe Responds To Suggestions of Privacy and Antitrust Problems

Canoe responded to Center for Digital Democracy Executive Director Jeff Chester's suggestion that there were privacy and antitrust issues with Canoe in an e-mail to B&C/Multichannel News including outlining its upcoming product launch.

"Canoe Ventures is designing and building products not only to comply with the comprehensive privacy rules that govern the cable industry but also according to best practices in protecting consumer privacy," the company said.

It described its initial product-still on track for a May launch-as "a Community Addressable Messaging product which allows for the delivery of a different version of an ad to groupings of households (a community) based on third-party, demographic market research."

It pointed out that direct mailers use a similar technique to target their messages.

"Community Addressable Messaging does not use deep packet inspection (DPI), personally identifiable information (PII) nor set-top box data," said the company. "Cable subscribers already are notified about the general use of third-party demographic data via cable operator privacy notices. As we build a common foundation for advanced advertising capabilities that TV networks can use to make ads more relevant, useful and engaging for customers, all of our products are being developed with consumer privacy protection at the forefront."

As to their being an antitrust problem with the top operators teaming on the venture, Canoe said that "such joint ventures are commonly used by cable operators to develop a common technology platform to address issues and support research and development."