back to article Media mogul Murdoch's 'Sky dataset' swallow poses 'grave threat'

The proposed £11.7bn takeover of Sky by Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox is a "grave threat" to the democratic process, members of the UK's House of Lords have claimed. In a letter to The Observer newspaper, six peers have said that Fox – which currently owns 39 per cent of Sky – could gain too much access to one of the " …

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But the peers fail to realise the print/TV angle for political manipulation. Also, since when was Murdoch a Russian? Why would he be interested in deciding who runs the country? :-)

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Anonymous Coward

Data Slurping

Is there a tendency to believe what we see on TV above what we read/see in other media? Maybe in the UK where for generations we have been told that TV/BBC/ITV is impartial?

However, with the amount of technology that is now built into Skys boxes along with the all prevavsive internet connection, I can easily see a time when adverts, news and other "inserts" are played out from the box, and inserted into the "broadcast" stream in realtime. So, you may be watching Coronation Street along with X million others, but only you get to see the adverts which are directed directly at you. I can see the broadcasters and advertisers loving this, but it's a dangerous step, IMHO.

All those little details that companies like Sky and Google have collected on you.....

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TRT
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Re: Data Slurping

If only there were a scheme where people could pay a token sum which funds an advertisement free broadcaster; one where any form of product placement or broad political bias was very severely frowned upon or even outlawed.

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Re: Data Slurping

They've already been able to do that for years now: https://www.skyadsmart.co.uk/

They are only interested in adverts (where's the money in changing the news) but if you have a family it means you may see an advert for a ford c-max whilst otherwise you may see the one for the ford mondeo. Most of the decision is done locally by the STB so probably not quite as bad as websites doing it, and in theory it means you at least get to see more relevant adverts.

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Re: Data Slurping

Explain why I should pay the licence fee if I don't watch TV, or even own one.

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Anonymous Coward

I say ponsonby is that not the horse which escaped many years ago? I guess we had better lock the barn door.

Whilst it's nice that someone in government has identified an issue, I think it's rather late in the day to do anything about it and to suggest that Murdoch/Fox have not already had access to sky's data is rather foolish.

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Has It Happened Already....

Hi,

Has the dataset already been used for investigative reporting ?.

With regards to the phone hacking, it was only hacking since the relevant business did not have access to the phone records.

If the newspaper arm has access to the records, how will we ever know if it has been used covertly by the media corporations ?

Society seems to have changed, and the more salacious/invasive the news, the more revenue it generates ?

I think everyone has a specific approach, and yes, this information will be (or has been) misused.

Of course, we need policies and process which will stop the misuse...... probably (this sentence was sarcastic).

Regards,

Shadmeister.

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Anonymous Coward

Targeted advertising on sky you say? Guess they have not heard of this: https://www.skyadsmart.co.uk/

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KTF

Sky Adsmart has been pushing out targeted adverts for ages.

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Skyadsmart...

Hi,

Sounds rather boring, only seeing ads which you have an interest in. Like Amazon used to send you notifications of new products similar to what you have just bought. How many people want to purchase another rowing machine ?

Anyway, targeting ads just reduces a person exposure to alternative ideas or products which they might want, or have never thought of.

Does make me wonder if the targeting and data mining will just create groups of non interacting people (no silos to silos comms) who only see what they are interested in, and further reduce their outlook on life.

Whatever happened to creating nice, well rounded people ??? (who don't gossip - personal bugbear of mine).

Regards,

Shadmeister.

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Unhappy

"Anyway, targeting ads just reduces a person exposure to alternative ideas "

It appears you've never heard of the expression "The internet echo chamber."

You have now.

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Re: Skyadsmart...

"Whatever happened to creating nice, well rounded people ?"

This is against government policy. Check out the wars on fat and sugar.

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But Murdoch isn't a Labour supporter, so surely the Government will welcome him purchasing the rest of Sky?

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Well Murdoch is not necessarily a Conservative supporter either - it depends on the tone they are taking towards his busineess. While the conservative party seem to have lost the plot recently (taling iona purely 'hang opn to power policy') I can't believe they are so silly as to actually *trust* him

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"But Murdoch isn't a Labour supporter, so surely the Government will welcome him purchasing the rest of Sky?"

What a short memory you have.

From 2009, Sun turns its back on Labour after 12 years of support

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Unhappy

"Well Murdoch is not necessarily a Conservative supporter either "

Exactly.

Whenever I think of Murdoch I think of Martin Sheen's character in the original "Wall Street" describing Michael Douglasses "Gordon Gecko."

"He's in it for the bucks and he don't take prisoners."

All that helps Murdoch's businesses and increases his influence is good. Everything else is bad (to Murdoch).

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Big Brother

Re: "Well Murdoch is not necessarily a Conservative supporter either "

"All that helps Murdoch's businesses and increases his influence is good. Everything else is bad (to Murdoch)."

Sounds like Trump! Prime Minister Murdoch? <gulp>

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Facepalm

Please ignore the elephant...

The letter says that if that information [TV viewing, phone, Internet records] should "fall into the hands of an owner with an appetite for political leverage, the temptations and opportunities for misuse become very great indeed".

And they wonder why so much opposition to the government having "opportunities to misuse" very large datasets of public activity. Appetite for political leverage? By definition, that includes every person ever elected to government and every civil servant with a pulse.

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Ironic

UK.Gov has no problems the NHS flogging off patient identifiable data to Google for cash but they cry when the same (amount) of private information is handed over to someone without them getting a cut

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" the hands of an owner with an appetite for political leverage"

...and where do they envisage finding an owner who doesn't have one of those? It's not a good idea to let any single entity control that much data IMO.

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Murdoch is getting a bargain after his newpaper titles pushed for Brexit. Now the Pound is cheap he can get his bargain. Those who don't think Murdoch has political power should wonder why he was present when Gove interviewed Trump!

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Unhappy

"Murdoch is getting a bargain after his newpaper titles pushed for Brexit. "

Murdoch's always liked the idea of nice sized country he's got enough pull in to threaten the ruling party into doing what he wants.

The only coverage more up May's backside was that of the Daily Express (ironic IIRC the trust that runs it is based in France).

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"so a party can tell any lie they want"

Is he implying they don't already?

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Anonymous Coward

Do people still watch adverts on TV ?

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WTF?

Oh come on, do you really believe slime ball Murdoch would obey an ICO ruling if he though he could get away with it. I would rather believe a promise from Hitler before anything from that vermin family and company !

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No problem

This is Rupert Murdoch we're talking about (News of the World, Sun etc.) - he has a history of being untrustworthy. How can any decent Government, concerned about Democracy and the rights of their citizens, even contemplate allowing him even more control of the propaganda sources? Oh, I forgot, he OWNS this British Government as he did the previous one, and the one before that, and the one before that ...

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