You watch TV, but in the future TV might watch you. New technology exists that can target ads based on what people are doing and saying while watching TV. The systems use infrared cameras and microphones built into DVRs and cable boxes similar to the ones used in Kinect gaming systems. (Which FYI, Rolling Stone Magazine says are always on and monitoring you even when the Xbox One is turned off.) Verizon filed a patent for technology that would recognize people eating, cleaning, reading, laughing and doing other activities while watching TV and send ads that correspond to that behavior. Makes you think about some of the things you do while watching TV, doesn’t it?
Lawmakers are working to stop or regulate the process. A bill in the House of Representatives would require prior permission before such devices could be installed by your TV provider and the words “We are watching you” would flash on your screen when activated. You can’t get much more “1984” than that!
How far can we intrude into our customers lives with targeted advertising before they begin to push back? Have we already gone too far? Is getting their permission enough or is there a “privacy line” that should never be crossed?