Facebook has a track record for being untrustworthy and having a scary amount of information on its users and even its non-users. Now, Facebook might be working on a smart-TV device of their own to distribute to consumers.
Shawn M. Carter of Fox Business reports about the recent development from Facebook. Carter says, “Facebook is reportedly preparing to launch a streaming device that, much like Amazon’s Fire Stick, would plug into a TV and offer access to a library of online content”. An interesting thing about this new TV plug-in is that Facebook would provide it as a bundle, with something called a portal family, which would give the people smart tablets, enabling users to video chat with each other. The thing that sets apart Facebook’s device from Apple and Amazon is their device might have a camera and microphones that link to the platform’s video service. Carter says that this, “might allow the company to tap into fun extras, like augmented reality (AR), face effects and interactive stories”. Although, the biggest issue for this streaming platform would be Facebook getting an agreement from Disney or Netflix to stream their content.
I wanted to discuss this article this week because this is an interesting technological development. As stated above, Facebook has not been known for protecting its users from data collecting. Facebook also tried to launch their own streaming service, which never really caught on. The whole premise of Facebook, which already has targeted ads and collects browser data to sell to other companies, creating another platform where they can gather your interests is mind-boggling. Facebook already asks you to connect your account to other apps like Spotify, Instagram, and online games, which grants them further access to how a person spends their time on various devices. I find this interesting because in 2014, smart TVs were under fire for using microphones to survey their users. Facebook has also gone to court on multiple accounts for their privacy issues, and Amazon Alexa is also in trouble for saving conversations its users have when the device is supposed to be dormant. Allowing another device with cameras and microphones seems crazy because people are just bugging their homes and letting Facebook and Amazon know almost everything about them. It feels more dystopian than innovative at this point. I wouldn’t want Facebook to monitor multiple streaming services on top of everything else it monitors. There’s a point where a company knows too much about a person and I don’t want Facebook knowing more about me than I do. I believe it is an important discussion to have about Facebook and invasion of privacy and allowing Facebook-owned cameras/microphones into a person’s house. I’m curious to see if this actually is launched and if there will be any large privacy scandals from it.