Verizon Files Patent For Cable Box That Watches You As You Watch Television

Tuesday, December 11, 2012
By Paul Martin

by JacobSloan
Disinfo.com
December 11, 2012

Another reason not to own a TV, via Yahoo! News:

A Verizon patent idea envisions spying on TV viewers for the sake of serving up related ads. For instance, a couple snuggling in front of the TV could end up getting bombarded by commercials for romantic vacations, flowers or even birth control. The system could also detect a person’s mood or identify objects such as pets, soft drink cans or a bag of chips in a person’s hand, and room decorations or furniture.

Such a patent idea would turn TV set-top boxes into spy boxes with sensors for both seeing and hearing the activity in front of the TV. Many TV viewers already own such set-top boxes to access pay-per-view services, digital video recordings and Internet streaming.

The patent filing even suggests the tracking system communicating with whatever smartphone or tablet a TV viewer might happen to have in his or her hands. That would allow Verizon to sneak a look at the websites a person is browsing, read email drafts or see what e-book he or she is reading.

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