Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law


Teresa W. Chan

First Page



Part I of this Note provides a backdrop of the different aspects of privacy law, focusing on the federal statutory schemes that are applicable to the issue of information gathering and the different possible uses of that information as a violation of privacy rights that have appeared in similar technology cases up to this point in time. This section will also focus on the capabilities of TiVo in more depth.

Part II of the Note examines both of TiVo's questionable actions: first, whether gathering information to sell to advertisers and networks in the form of aggregate data violates privacy rights; and secondly, whether detailed information gathering that allows TiVo to create a "viewer profile," thereby allowing the service provider to customize its service, is a violation of privacy rights or contrary to public policy. This Note supports the position that selling aggregate data need not raise any privacy concerns, as the practices of TiVo, by-and-large, accord with both the law and sound public policy." However, the question of whether TiVo violates privacy rights in tracking viewer habits to the point where TiVo is able to analyze a viewer's likes and dislikes, and then suggest other shows that the viewer might enjoy and tailor advertising towards that particular viewer, merits a second look.