Comcast is an ISP and cable service provider in the US. It is experimenting with a new technology to recognize the person in the living room, and schedule programs and/or advertisements accordingly. They will install some sort of camera on the set top box which will recognize the person from body features (Comcast claims they will not have face recognition).
Bruce Schneier is a security expert. He says one needs a different mindset to be security-conscious. He contends it is innate, and cannot really be taught, although some effort is on at the University of Washington.
Do I need to spell out what I fear? Privacy, fortunately, doesn't require as much of an innate talent as security, but it does require a lot of common sense. Given Comcast's recent dealings vis a vis Bit torrents, I am afraid I'll have to say "No, thanks" when they come to me with that wonderful feature of customized TV programs, and of course, customized advertisements. It's not because I have anything to fear, but the mind boggles at the kind of misuse that kind of technology can be put to. Imagine someone viewing what I am doing in the privacy of my living room in real-time. In no time, I will be expected to behave in whatever manner is deemed "acceptable" at the time. But wait, that's not the worse part. Who's stopping anyone in law enforcement from hijacking the camera feed? Umm, did you say they need a court warrant, and if one is issued, there is sufficient evidence anyway? Right.
Why don't we worry enough about our privacy? Is there any sociologist explaining the phenomenon? The way things have been going, if Comcast does come up with the camera plan, I am afraid a majority of us will just welcome it.
Interesting times are ahead, my friends.
[Links via Slashdot.]