Big Brother Alert
Cameras in your cable box are watching you
Congressman acts to prohibit corporations from
spying on you without your permission.
It hardly gets more Orwellian than this. New technology would allow cable companies to peer directly into television watchers’ homes and monitor viewing habits and reactions to product advertisements.
The technology would come via the cable box, and at least one lawmaker on Capitol Hill is standing in opposition.
Mass. Democratic Rep. Michael Capuano has introduced a bill, the We Are Watching You Act, to prohibit the technology on boxes and collection of information absent consumer permission.
The bill would also require companies that do use the data to show “we are watching you” messages on the screen and to explain just what kinds of information is being captured and for what reasons, reports the Washington Times.
The technology includes cameras and microphones that are installed on DVRs or cable boxes and analyzes viewers’ responses, behaviors and statements to various ads — and then provides advertisements that are targeted to the particular household.
Specifically, the technology can monitor sleeping, eating, exercising, reading and more, AdWeek reported.
“This may sound preposterous, but it’s neither a joke nor an exaggeration,” said Mr. Capuano in a statement, AdWeek reported. “These DVRs would essentially observe consumers as they watch television as a way to super-target ads. It is an incredible invasion of privacy.”
Verizon's New DVR Will Spy On You
|The Verizon Detection
Your living room becomes ground zero for 1984.
Verizon patents targeted advertising that watches TV viewers. The new patent describes how targeted ads can be sent to TV viewers based on information collected from infrared cameras, microphones and other devices that capture the conversations and moods of the people watching.
Called Verizon Detection Zone, the system would pick up conversations, people, objects and animals that are near a TV. For example, if the system determines that a couple is arguing, a service provider would be able to send an ad for marriage counseling to a TV or mobile device in the room.
See our article: Verizon DVR will spy on you inside your home .