September 04, 2006

Google developing eavesdropping software

The Register reports that Google is working on software that can listen to background noise from your TV and deliver contextual advertising based on what you are watching. By converting the sound from you PC microphone into a digital fingerprint to identify the TV source, they hope to deliver content-based ads directly to you.

Anyone else see anything wrong with this? Besides the privacy issues, this is just begging to be abused by other authorities.

It reminds me of the covert webcam kernel driver I wrote for an agency years back that took secret snapshots of people who wrote "words of interest". You just know no good can come of this.

Lets just hope Google dosn't hide this in some 50 page EULA for their toolbar or something. Be honest and let us decide if we REALLY want it.

Posted by SilverStr at September 4, 2006 01:05 PM | TrackBack

It is just a bad idea. I remember the uproar with gmail's contextual ads ("Hey, Google reads my email!") -- now if that was a problem, what about giving up the privacy of my entire family for... delivering targeted ads for me? I do not see how that is going to work, regardless fingerprints.

Posted by: Peter at September 4, 2006 10:22 PM