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Intel Corporation Message Board

  • williamdavis960 williamdavis960 Feb 18, 2013 10:07 AM Flag

    Intel Set-Top Box Camera Controversy: Much to do About Nothing

    Good article in Forbes should calm the hysteria privacy fears

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    • I see that Forbes has done two articles on Intel's Web TV, both are equally misleading if not clueless.
      The article authored by Patrick Moorhead attempts to suggest that built-in cameras in one's electronic devices are hamless and gives examples of how many smartphones and other devices have cameras. However, there is a big difference between the millions of smartphones with cameras and Intel's Web TV. Smartphone cameras exist to take photos, make videos, etc but they are NOT designed to be spying on the owner in the privacy of their own home, whereas with the Intel Web TV that camera is there specifcially to spy on family members in their home. And while I don't know many children younger than 12 with smartphones it's fair to assume that virtually all young children watch some amount of TV and they don't deserve their TV watching behavior spied-on, recorded and sold off to third parties.

      The author makes a second but even more lame attempt to characterize Intel's camara as innocuous implying it was included to enable family room videoconferencing. Well, virtually every TV videoconferencing solution today places the camera near the top of the TV. But we know set-top boxes are almost always beneath the TV or behind a glass door in a wall unit. Both locations are a lousy place a camera for videoconferencing because the location is either too low or too obscured by furniture. If Intel wanted to enable videoconferencing with their Web TV all they have to do is include a common USB port in their box and allow the consumer to plug in one of the many affordable videocams. This would also placement in the ideal location. The argument about using the camera as a means to protect children from seeing objectionable material is such bull. What it means is that you give up more information about the child's age and what happens if there are more than one person in the room? Does the system block all video material for anyone older than the youngest viewer? That's not a solution. Every single person that stands in front of that box can be uniquely identified by name, gender, age, home address, and that's just the beginning.

      That Forbes is writing a piece to do damage control on Intel's Web TV spying feature, and trying to find other ways to pitch the camera's purpose suggests Intel knows they have a potential public relations disaster in the making.

    • How credible could the Forbes piece be? They say the Intel device could kill the cable industry as we know it. The cable industry has a virtual monopoly on consumer broadband services in most parts of the country therefore Intel's service is dependent on the cable's companies infrastructure. The cable companies also own many of the companies that produce the content Intel wants to deliver, so again the cable companies are in the driver's seat. And the cable companies are already delivering video of IP themselves along with their traditional non IP video services.

      One has to factor credibility of the source and Forbes isn't the place one should rely on for accurate analysis of technology.

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