It was good to see last month’s Roku update make improvements to search and feeds, but not sure users will be saying the same thing about the Roku June update. Things are not really changing with the software, but rather things behind the scenes that are starting to go live.
The change that looks set to get most of you angry is the new ad format for Roku, which will be intrusive so that it can display targeted ads, This is done by tracking information from everyone using your network by scanning your WiFi network.
This really does sound like an intrusive way to make money, and you cannot skip the ads entirely either, as this is currently not an option. You have to wonder how many people will start to sell their Roku set-top boxes and move to a different platform, such as Amazon Fire TV instead?
You have to ask yourself if paying a lower than average price for a set-top box is worth your privacy, because we can already see many users are so unhappy.
Several Product-reviews readers have been in contact to share their anger, and many of them have been saying they were considering buying the Roku, but not anymore. While others wonder if this is actually legal, seeing as though there is no opt-out option, and that is a very good point.
We now wait to see what Roku has to say, as we are sure there will be a backlash from this.
Update: Roku has been in contact with us to clarify a few things, which we are grateful for, and here is what they had to say. I saw your story and wanted to clarify a few things. This statement you saw on TechCrunch is not accurate: “These interactive ads can also be personalized using data like a user’s location, as well as by tracking information collected on devices running on a household’s Wi-Fi network using traditional means.”
They also went on to say, Roku does not collect data from a customer’s WiFi network nor collect data from any other devices on a customer’s WiFi network. This new interactive capability will be available for channels on the Roku platform that are already ad-supported.