Users can opt out of the targeted ads using their remote control, according to Ars Technica, which added that once you've done so, the company will stop collecting your data for advertising purposes.
For Google, this hints at a broader strategy to leverage its advertising prowess in all sorts of physical-world platforms, such as driverless cars and mobile phone service.
While this is a no-brainer for Google and simply applies the same formula to TV that we're already familiar with when it comes to Gmail, YouTube and other Google properties, it's a significant development for TV viewers that for decades were served advertising in a shotgun-style blast whether they were receptive to the messaging or not. The bulk of today's TV ads can be targeted by market, but generally not down to the level of a household.
In fact, it's part of a wider trend that became a factor in the last political election cycle. Cable and satellite operators are all racing to offer targeted ads — or as they're called in the industry, "addressable" advertising — the theory being that a candidate can maximize their budget by sending ads only to those people who are likely to be persuaded or mobilized as a result.
This is the future of TV: Channels that know exactly who you are, where you live, where you've shopped, how you've browsed, which brands you buy, and on and on.