Facebook is used to dealing with privacy concerns, but the company is reportedly about to introduce a product that will bring a whole new level of scrutiny. According to a report from online news network Cheddar this week, Facebook is preparing to launch a home device to rival the Amazon Echo Show. That means, if users bought the product, Facebook would have a camera and microphone in homes across the world.
The device, supposedly called the Portal, would allow family and friends to host video chats in a communal space. It will be revealed to the public in May, according to the report, and it will debut on the market with an astounding price tag of $499. (For comparison, the Amazon Echo Show is only $229.99.)
Setting aside the exorbitant cost, will Facebook users really want to invite Facebook into the privacy of their homes? The device will feature a microphone and camera, and it could use Facebook’s artificial intelligence and facial recognition technology. Many users already have a problem with how much Facebook knows about them — now imagine Facebook has a physical presence in your house. It’d be pretty hard to trust Facebook with a responsibility that big, and that’s to say nothing of external risks like hackers. So, in other words: Facebook has an uphill battle ahead to convince users it’s safe to let the social media giant through the door.