Friday, November 22, 2013

Not So Smart TVs

Allegations that smart or connected TV manufacturer LG is harvesting viewer information is yet another chapter in the argument over TV privacy.

On one hand, technologists would love to turn the TV into the internet, where theoretically you can measure everything everyone views the whole time and use this to commercialise your proposition (the reality is far less effective than this, of course..).

On the other, viewers hate the idea of being tracked.

In the UK we live in a country with more monitoring cameras than any other country on earth. People are monitored in their every day lives more than in North Korea, the USA or Russia.

We know that everything we do on the internet is being accessed by Google, the NSA and GCHQ.

Online, we live in a glass box: watching television we live in an oratorical space. We are broadcast to. But increasingly what we watch will be analysed and used to market to us.

I wouldn't mind if this was effective, but the endless ads for holidays I booked a year ago are tiresome online and are likely to be even more maddening on any one of my TV screens.

I'm beginning to wonder how smart I want my TV to be.