Gee, I bet this won’t be used to spy on everyone
Facebook has announced the rollout of its new ‘Portal’ smart speakers, which it brags have a camera that can automatically follow users around the room.
Becoming the latest company to enter the smart-speaker market after Amazon Alexa and Google Home, Facebook rolled out a pair of voice-controlled devices that are optimized for video calling.
“Portal’s smart camera follows the action, keeping you in frame and everyone in view,” states the promo for the product.
The technology led some people to draw comparisons to George Orwell’s 1984, and a quote from the book illustrates creepy similarities.
“The telescreen recieved and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it; moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision which the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as heard.”
Undoubtedly wary about fears the technology could be exploited to spy on its users following the company’s data abuse scandals, Facebook has even included a camera cover that can be slipped over the lens.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Facebook is launching the first electronic device to bear its brand, a screen and camera-equipped gadget intended to make video calls easier and more intuitive.
But it’s unclear if people will open their homes to an internet-connected camera sold by a company with a questionable track record on protecting user privacy.
Facebook is marketing the device, called Portal, as a way for its more than 2 billion users to chat with one another without having to fuss with positioning and other controls. The device features a camera that uses artificial intelligence to automatically pan and zoom as people move around during calls.