Facebook To Introduce New Streaming Device That Can Watch And Listen To You

Facebook’s reputation for protecting user privacy has taken a lot of hits over the past several years. That’s why so many consumers and advocates alike expressed alarm when Facebook first introduced its in-home hardware Portal last fall to compete with Amazon Echo. However, despite a cold reception for their first product, Facebook is preparing to release another device this holiday season that will specialize in streaming video.

It makes sense that Facebook wants in on the lucrative streaming market, but some reported details of this new hardware are raising eyebrows — namely, that it will feature a camera and microphone. That means Facebook could hypothetically spy on you while you’re watching TV.

It isn’t the first tech company to introduce invasive features into its products, but as Fast Company points out, users are so quick to distrust Facebook because of all the other controversies it has caused.

“The problem, of course, is Facebook, which just suffered a major security breach that exposed the personal information of nearly 30 million users, and admitted earlier this year that up to 87 million users had their data harvested without permission by political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica,” Fast Company’s Jared Newman wrote last fall when Portal was originally revealed. “Those blunders, along with other recent breaches of trust (such as misusing two-factor authentication numbers for targeted ads), could turn users off the idea of a Facebook-powered TV camera.”

It remains to be seen how the general public will respond to this idea, but if the original Portal is any indication, the answer is: not well.

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