Whilst I never cease to be amazed at the audacity of companies that think they can steamroller across civil liberties if they give kit out to punters free of charge (hello BSkyB) my jaw dropped over the
weekend when I heard about Comcast's plans to give advanced set top boxes (STBs) for free to punters in the US.
The STBs will reportedly feature an internal Webcam to assess whether punters are sat in front of their TV and what sex/age they are. The data will then allow the cable ISP to "better target ads at viewers."
Yes folks, this technology does exist. I was talking to an Israeli company called TruMedia last week that has developed this technology for digital signage applications in shopping malls.
It's a long way, however, from shopping malls to your living room. Talk about an incusion into your civil liberties.
Mind you, what would happen if someone hacked into the STB and gained remote access to the Webcam?
I remember working with a guy and his wife at a bar when I was younger. The pair were - I kid you not - naturists - and use to sit in their lounge watching TV in the buff.
You couldn't make this stuff up -Ed.
Mind you, isn't this what t'Internet was made for?...