The Young Turks: Verizon Patents Device to Spy on You for Advertisers

I post a similar piece from The Young Turks a little while ago on the way the American government was going to place tracking devices in people’s home appliances – TVs, washing machines, freezers, and so on, which would allow them to keep tabs on them. In this report from 2012, the Turks reveal that Verizon has patented a device which allows the TV to spy on you in order to target advertising. For example, if the camera picks up sounds of arguing, you’ll get an advert for marriage counselling. If they see ‘cuddling’, your TV will show an advert for contraceptives.

This is a serious potential infringement of civil liberties, and it’s not the first. The Turks reveal that four years previously another company had patented a similar device. Verizon are able to do so, unlike the government, which needs a warrant, because they’re a private company.

As the Turks point out, this has serious implications. They raise the obvious question: does anybody really believe that the government isn’t going to use this technology? They are, unfortunately, extremely pessimistic about the possibility of citizens resisting what Benjamin J. Grimm, your ever-lovin’ Thing, would describe as ‘a revoltin’ development’. They believe it’ll take a couple of scandals, and even, then the evidence is that people are so habituated to such surveillance, that they won’t resist.

This is one more step towards Orwell’s 1984. In Orwell’s dystopian classic, the government monitors and controls people through cameras, including in their television. Orwell’s novel was based on Stalinism and the idea of a totalitarian ‘socialist’ state. This technology is being developed for private industry, and no doubt will be adopted by our increasingly Right-wing government to protect private industry and the exploitation of the poor and unemployed by the upper classes.

Here’s the video:

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