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

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.

  • Anarchy Pony

    Stay in the bubble!

  • I_abide

    1984 was not supposed to be a how to manual.

    • Anarchy Pony

      There are those that beg to differ.

      • utterly_disgusted

        and those who beg to differ are retarded. i agree with you abide. for what reason does verizon think it is okay to spy on you. how pathetic are we?

        • Anarchy Pony

          They’re not retarded, they are as close to genuinely evil as you could hope to find.

  • toothpick

    the magic of George Orwell is still strong

    • Jbaby

      too strong

  • Calypso_1

    Just hack it and feed a looped vid of a proctology exam.

    That’s if you watch cable.

    But what’s the difference with a laptop cam and mic. I’ve had several viruses that escaped the
    attentions of security software that activated the mic and cam.
    Fun time w/ desoldering.
    Problem solved.

    Now if I can just get the implants out of my head.

    • Konraden

      Know how I know you’re full of shit? Laptop cameras and microphones aren’t hard-soldered into motherboards.

  • just john

    For the cameras, use lens caps.

    As I do with laptop and netbook cameras, just take a post-it note and cut a strip from the adhesive’d edge and a triangle from an opposing corner and construct a band-aid sort of thing (the corner piece in the center to go over the camera itself so the adhesive doesn’t mess it up) to stick over the camera.

    • Eric Fischer

      Just use foil tape. You can get it at any major hardware store, and it gets you status points at all the conspiracy theory conventions.

    • Zenc

      I use a bandaid. A black one with skulls and crossbones, which sort of matches the color of the laptop chassis.

      Plus the software drivers are removed.

      • just john

        I thought about bandaids, but figured there’d be too much residual junk if I removed and replaced ’em repeatedly (y’know, for times I might actually use the camera?)

        But kudos for fashion sense.

  • Miracles

    Just because something gets patented doesn’t mean they’re actively pursuing it. It just means that if anyone besides them ever do develop such a thing, they expect to get paid for it.

  • Kelly Stevens

    Sell your Verizon stock because people simply will take their business elsewhere.

  • BuzzCoastin

    since most smart phones already do this
    and it’s stock and trade for Google and its ilk
    it seems likely this technology is already deployed
    a patent merely protects a proprietary method
    and when they announce it’s availability
    50% of the sheeple will ask for it by name
    and another 40% will demand it be installed immediately

  • :)

    they better serve up some porn once i start stroking it. i get bored

    • art

      hahaha man made me laugh

    • justjoeindenver

      be careful what you ask for… Your neighbors may just get pictures of you.

  • Dbakeca Italia

    nice I want to try :))

  • Ellie St Cyr

    Well, looks like I’m never watching TV again.