Ziggo has stopped collecting personal viewing data of its customers, following a report by the Dutch Data Protection Authority (CBP)

The CBP found during the investigation that Ziggo was collecting data from its customers using interactive services informed as well as their TV viewing habits, without asking them for permission. Meanwhile, Ziggo has taken steps to terminate the violation.

With the advent of interactive digital television is TV viewing two way street. “Providers of digital television are ablt to observe the behaviour of viewers, create profiles of them in order to approach them personally on that basis,” said Wilbert Tomesen, vice chairman of the CBP. “This is only allowed if providers provide their customers with clear and complete information about this and ask permission beforehand.”

Data on the viewing habits are personally sensitive nature. They can give a vivid picture of a person’s behaviour and interests. Ziggo has done this without customers knowing about i tand without asking them for consent.

Meanwhile Ziggo has introduced measures to make the data anonymous so they can no longer be traced back to individuals. The report only concerns the ‘old’ Ziggo and did not include audience tracking on the former UPC network.