By Chris McKinnon

BOSTON (CBS) — Marisa Langford thinks it’s a good idea for her family to see TV ads that are based on their viewing habits.

“I would rather watch something that’s made for me and my family,” she says.

They’re called “targeted ads.”

Advertising executive Mark Lieberman says the practice lets companies pick the best times to show a commercial so the right viewers can see it.

90 million US households have digital set-top boxes. This allows cable and satellite providers to record what shows air on the TVs in your home.

Marketing pros can then combine that information with other demographic data and figure out which commercials you’re likely to watch.

It will even be possible that neighbors will be watching the same show at the same time, but seeing different commercials.

Pam Dixon of the World Privacy Forum worries viewers will be limited on the products they are exposed to, and that could actually create some uncomfortable situations.

“It becomes a weird, revealing thing,” she says.

Dixon suggests checking your television provider’s privacy policy to see if they’re recording what you watch.

If it bothers you, you might be able to opt out.

Chris McKinnon

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