1984: Google patents massive home spying system

1984: Google patents massive home spying system

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Google imagines devices that would scan and analyze the surroundings of your home, then offer you content based on what they detect. According to the patent, the smart cameras in such a device could, for example, recognize Will Smith’s face on a T-shirt on the floor of a user’s closet. After matching this analysis against your browser history, the device might then say aloud, “You seem to like Will Smith. His new movie is playing in a theater near you.”

…The patent imagines that smart-home devices would make all types of inferences about users, sorting them into categories based on what the devices see in their most personal spaces. Using object recognition, they could calculate “fashion taste” by scanning your clothing, and even estimate your income based on any “expensive mechanical and/or electronic devices” they detect. …

…. Google and Facebook both record and analyze [online] user behavior, use it to sort people into categories, and then target them with ads and other content. Facebook likely knows your race and religion, while Google uses your emails and search history to sort you into ad-ready brackets. …

…The second patent proposes a smart-home system that would help run the household, using sensors and cameras to restrict kids’ behavior. Parents could program a device to note if it overhears “foul language” from children, scan internet usage for mature or objectionable content, or use “occupancy sensors” to determine if certain areas of the house are accessed while they’re gone— for example, the liquor cabinet. …

Source: Google’s New Patents Aim to Make Your Home a Data Mine – The Atlantic

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