Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is all set to track the user’s TV-show viewing habits on a cellphone or tablet, and send the age and gender information to TV ratings measurement company Nielson (a TV ratings measurement company) for assisting the advertisers to know about the audience who watch shows online.

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TV viewing habits changing

Nielson has gathered the data about viewing habits by hiring the families to give the track of what they watch, but the company is now relying on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) expertise apart from other data database, according to LA Times.

Overtime the TV watching habit and method of following favorite TV shows has undergone a big change. Viewers now prefer to watch the show on the go over their laptops, mobiles and tablets instead of tuning to the traditional TV in their living room. According to a recent Pew Research Center report, now, almost 42% of American adults own tablet computers compared to nearly none in 2010.

Cheryl Idell, a Nielsen executive vice president, said that world is transforming rapidly and the company needs to hire new tools and standards to capture all the fragmented viewing. Facebook-Nielson partnership is an attempt towards capturing the fragmented data and insight into how people are using their mobile devices and other gadgets for entertainment.

“The world is shifting radically, and so we had to evolve our measurement so that we could capture all of this fragmented viewing,” said Cheryl Idell.

Privacy concerns again looms over Facebook

The supporters of privacy are in a fix that users are unknowingly giving data about their TV habits to the researchers. Chris Conley, an attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union, in Northern California, said that it is interesting that Facebook will know about the video user is watching.

Julia Horwitz, a consumer protections counsel at the Electronic Privacy Information Center, says that consumers are ignorant of the extent to which Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is gathering data about their non-Facebook activity. Also, watching television and surfing internet should be of no concern to Facebook.

Nielson would get the data of non-Nielson members through Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) collaboration. The researcher is, also,  using the information from Experian Marketing Services, which collects data on Americans to dig deeper in on the go audience.

Both Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Nielson said that the process will not reveal the identities of the individuals.

“It is all anonymous and privacy-protected,” Idell said.