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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Would You Let Your TV Watch You?

(espensorvik/Flickr)

(espensorvik/Flickr)

A study released last week by Boston-based Strategy Analytics has revealed that, in general, Americans really don’t want their TVs watching them.

The research found that “43 percent of people would never allow a camera or sensing device to be connected to their TV.”

On the other hand, 14 percent said they’re okay with their TV viewing their behavior and their data being collected.

Verizon already applied for a patent for a DVR system that would be able to track movement in a room and tailor its advertisements based on what it learns. For example, if it detects a dog in the room, it could run advertisements for dog food.

The patent was denied because similar technology already exists.

Legislation to control this kind of technology is also in the works. Congressman Mike Capuano, Democrat of Massachusetts, and Congressman Walter Jones, Republican of North Carolina, have proposed new legislation would require companies to explicitly ask consumers for permission to collect and store their data.

It’s called the “We Are Watching You Act.”

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Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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