• Effective immediately we will be deleting, without notice, any negative threads or posts that deal with the use of encryption and streaming of scanner audio.

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Comcast Cameras to Start Watching You?

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iMONITOR

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I've often thought how easy it would be for them to do this. Just hide a tiny camera behind the dark plastic display window on their tuner box. A microphone would be even easier. Maybe we should take a look and see if they've already implemented this!

Comcast Cameras to Start Watching You?

If you have some tinfoil handy, now might be a good time to fashion a hat. At the Digital Living Room conference today, Gerard Kunkel, Comcast’s senior VP of user experience, told me the cable company is experimenting with different camera technologies built into devices so it can know who’s in your living room.

The idea being that if you turn on your cable box, it recognizes you and pulls up shows already in your profile or makes recommendations. If parents are watching TV with their children, for example, parental controls could appear to block certain content from appearing on the screen. Kunkel also said this type of monitoring is the “holy grail” because it could help serve up specifically tailored ads. Yikes.

Kunkel said the system wouldn’t be based on facial recognition, so there wouldn’t be a picture of you on file (we hope). Instead, it would distinguish between different members of your household by recognizing body forms. He stressed that the system is still in the experimental phase, that there hasn’t been consumer testing, and that any rollout “must add value” to the viewing experience beyond serving ads.

Perhaps I’ve seen Enemy of the State too many times, or perhaps I’m just naive about the depths to which Comcast currently tracks my every move. I can’t trust Comcast with BitTorrent, so why should I trust them with my must-be-kept-secret, DVR-clogging addiction to Keeping Up with the Kardashians?

Kunkel also spoke on camera with me about fixing bad Comcast user experiences, the ongoing BitTorrent battle and VOD. But he mostly towed the corporate line on these issues (the monitoring your living room came up after my camera was put away).

http://newteevee.com/2008/03/18/comcast-cameras-to-start-watching-you/
 

bpckty1

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This idea violates so many laws and moral standards, I just cannot fathom any company attempting this practice. Besides, the first person to discover the invasion of privacy most likely will be the new owner of Comcast.
 

RedPenguin

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Ahhhh.....

You know, even if this was ethical and everybody wanted it, I notice a possible problem.

The story says it would go by body figures to decide what to do.

Well, what if you are 18, but built like a 13 year old, and the box just turns on parental controls all the time?

What if for some odd reason, you have to people built the same way (maybe twins), and you keep getting the other person's programming.

To me, just going by body figures alone, doesn't sound like it would be fool-proof or really work to a degree that people will not be calling up customer service all the time complaining and moaning.

At first, before I read the story, I thought they were going to spy on their customers, and I thought, boy better not do anything nasty in your living room, or the guys at Comcast might get excited. I always thought maybe Comcast would post those videos to the dirty versions of YouTube.
 

jb872033

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This is not comcast to be worried about...if they have this technology in place (when they do) whats to stop some macination of the "patriot act" from gaining access to our living rooms, grr...Im proud to be an American but its times like these where it isnt so paletable.
 

mastr

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A cable box is nearly a ready made hiding place for covert equipment. All the needed things are there-DC power, RF connectivity and an unobstructed view of the desired area.
 
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