Aug 27

Television to Watch You

In America, you watch tv. In Soviet Russia . . .

Oh never-mind. In America, television will soon be watching you. A company by the name of Flingo has developed a tech called Sync Apps to monitor what you watch on television. It’s already being mass-produced and will be in TVs retailing for $500 by the end of the year.

i09 reports:

Here’s a quick rundown on how it all works. A television equipped with Sync Apps keeps tabs on everything you’re watching in real time (this could be anything from cable television, to DVDs, to video files shared over your home network). Then Sync Apps sends the information to a server that identifies whatever you’re watching. Computers, laptops, tablets, mobile devices — anything sharing the same network connection as your television — can then tap into that information to display relevant web content on the fly. If the channel on your television changes, so does what you see on the web. And here’s where the money is: Data collected and analyzed by Sync Apps will also be made available to social networking sites and advertising companies.

Apparently, you can turn the app off. But you could also install Linux on your PS3. Sony cited “security concerns” and took away that feature on units they sold with that feature. If you buy this thing, I’d expect to have the ability to turn the app off taken away.

Aside from the dubious point of letting marketers into your home to gather information, one should also be aware that the information they do gather might be insecure and could probably be stolen to be used in other schemes. Really, once they take it, you have no control over what they do with it.

Tread careful, folks.

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