Facebook’s Photo Sync, Verizon’s new patent, and the government’s Death Star
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And while we’re talking privacy there’s this new patent, filed by Verizon. The tech publication ArsTechnica came across it. How about a set-top cable TV box that watches what you are doing in front of the TV and then does something with the information. Like you’re eating chicken wings and then the TV shows you a KFC commercial. When we spot these stories, we love tormenting Intellectual Property law expert James Grimmelmann at New York University. He says he finds it disturbing that companies even come up with these kinds of ideas.
“Oh, let’s show an ad for marriage counseling,” says Grimmelmann, “if we detect people shouting at each other in the room where they’re watching TV, just who thinks that? Why?”
But on any patent story, there’s a caveat — an application doesn’t mean a gizmo’s on the way. Grimmelmann’s theory is this.
“What Verizon is asking for is that if anybody does so something like this they want a cut of the money,” he says. “So it’s really a bet that the future includes some kind of advertising based on what you’re doing while watching TV.”
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