Set-Top-Box Lexicon: Encryption

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 this column, which offers a common language for Set-Top Box nomenclature that can expedite the rollout of the data for its many industry applications. 

We have spent the last few weeks reviewing terms associated with anonymization and privacy. Data points can be hashed and de-identified (Set-Top-Box Lexicon: Types of Anonymization). Another way to insure privacy is to only allow certain users to access certain levels of information. Encryption is a gate key method used in Set-Top-Box data, which restricts data access to a select group or to a specific person.




See also Anonymization, De-identify, Hashed ID, Pretty Good Privacy Encryption

CIMM DEFINITION: A protection procedure where an algorithm is inserted into a process or dataset that will allow access to the content only to those who have the security key. 

2: “A form of encoding transmitted data for security purposes. It normally requires the decryption “key” to decipher the transmission upon receipt. The level of security is dependent on the complexity of the key used. A method used to translate plaintext into ciphertext.” (Source: CableLabs)

3: “A process used to obfuscate information often used with MAC ID and / or system supplied keys.” (Source: Nielsen)

PGP abbr Pretty Good Privacy Encryption

See also: Anonymization

CIMM DEFINITION : Software that offers authentication and the ability to encrypt and decrypt data points.

NOTE - In some cases hashing is carried out daily which destroys ability to do Reach / Frequency / Frequency Distribution / ROI reporting because there is no persistent anonymous household identifier in those cases. (Source:TRA)

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

2 comments about "Set-Top-Box Lexicon: Encryption".
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  1. Chuck Lantz from, network, December 8, 2011 at 5:44 p.m.

    Question from a civilian: Does the information gathered from STBs include "proof of life" data (for want of a better term), such as recent channel changes, volume control use, etc., that would help indicate that actual human beings are watching?

    Or are STBs so passive that when the viewer only turns off the monitor when finished viewing, leaving the STB on 24/7, whatever is on is counted?

    (... which may account for the massive use of the Chuck Norris exercise machine paid-programming ads - the STB numbers assume that someone is actually awake and watching.)

  2. Chuck Lantz from, network, December 8, 2011 at 6:17 p.m.

    I found the answer to my question in the Lexicon provided by the author.

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