Friday, December 7, 2012

Verizon Wants to Spy Through Your TV

It sounds creepy, like something out of a Twilight Zone episode, but it's true. Verizon has applied for a patent for the idea of using customers' TV set-top boxes to see and hear what people are doing in front of their TVs, and then using that information to tailor what ads will show up during commercial breaks.

FierceCable first discovered the patent filing, which gives an example of a couple snuggling in front of the TV that might see ads for romantic vacations, flowers or even condoms.  Verizon also envisions being able to detect a person's mood from what they're doing, such as singing a happy song, and then featuring ads intended for happy people.

The patent filing even suggests that the tracking system could communicate with a smartphone or tablet a viewer might have in their hands, seeing the websites the person is looking at, reading their email drafts or looking at what ebook they're reading.

The patent's filing has yet to be approved, however, and this envisioned system may not actually come to pass, with noting that companies file patents on many ideas that never become a reality.

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