Set-Top-Box Lexicon: Privacy and PII

CIMM is taking a pro-active role in advancing new media nomenclature and processes with both its Lexicon(terms and definitions associated with Set-Top Box data measurement) and Asset Identification Primer (glossary of asset terms). These documents form the basis of the Word-A-Week column which offers a common language for Set-Top-Box nomenclature that can expedite the rollout of the data for its many industry applications.

One of the most important issues regarding the rollout and eventually use of Set-Top-Box data for its various measurement uses and capabilities is privacy. Not only is privacy a legislative concern, it is also a consumer and public concern. As stated in the CIMM whitepaper, Set-Top-Box data needs privacy fail-safes that comply with government rules, are reasonably respectful of consumer privacy interests and that indemnify data originators.



As we step into the realm of privacy concerns and solutions, let’s start at the beginning: thinking about privacy at the onset of a venture and grappling with the very basics of viewer identification information.

Privacy By Design

CIMM DEFINITION : Building in a concern for consumer privacy from the start of a venture whether expressly required or not.


PII abbr Personally Identifiable Information

See also: Anonymization, De-identify

CIMM DEFINITION : Information that reveals the identity of an individual subscriber, either alone or in combination with other information.

2 : “Any piece of information which can be used independently or with other sources to uniquely identify an individual.” (Source: Nielsen)

3 : “Any information about an individual maintained by an agency, including (1) any information that can be used to distinguish or trace an individual's identity, such as name, social security number, date and place of birth, mother's maiden name, or biometric records and (2) any other information that is linked or linkable to an individual such as medical, educational, financial and employment information.” (Source: NIST, Guide to Protecting the Confidentiality of PII)


Personal Identifiable Information (PII) Ingestion

See also: Anonymization

CIMM DEFINITION : The ability to accumulate and aggregate hashed or encrypted personal identity information as part of the Set-Top Box data and measurement processing.

Please refer to the CIMM Lexicon online at for additional information on these and other terms.


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