I saw a couple of disturbing posts on Newteevee.com in which the author wrote about having talked with Gerard Kunkel, Comcast’s senior VP of user experience at the Digital Living Room conference about some Orwellian plans that Comcast is working on.

Apparently the cable company is trying out different camera technologies built into their cable boxes that will allow it to know who’s in the room.  How Orwell can you get?!

Apparently Comcast maintains that the cameras in the cable boxes isn’t using facial recognition software, even though it still manages to figure out who’s in the room.

The idea is that each person would have a profile and the box would learn to recognize individuals and learn their preferences.  This means that when you turn it on, it customizes the channel and program offerings it shows you first to fit your habits.

On the surface of it this sounds like it’d be pretty cool.. a cable box that knows I like to watch Star Trek reruns every night at 9:30pm on channel 457.  The problem with it is that it wouldn’t be a big hurdle for Comcast or [insert your favorite TLA here] to tap into that camera and see what’s going on in the room anytime they want.

And don’t think your cable / satellite box doesn’t “call home” on a regular basis, how else can you order PPV by way of your remote or get fresh program listings every hour or two?

A little bit later, Comcast apparently responded but honestly I’m not buying anything the Comcast person said.  The fact that this kind of thing is even being talked about should have Comcast customers giving serious consideration to switching to some other provider.

And if these set top boxes DO start having cameras (or microphones!!) in them, then word needs to spread about how to disable the things.

Technorati Tags: privacy, big+brother, set+top+boxes, camera, orwell, tv+watching+you, comcast, spying

Be Sociable, Share!
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • email
  • Google Reader
If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

Tagged with:

Filed under: domestic spyingNewsOpinionPrivacy

Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!