Verizon would like to know if it’s okay to increase their stock price at the expense of their customer privacy. Their DVR patent that was filed last year shows they are planning using these boxes to scan living rooms for “ambient” action. The action that it reads is then interpreted for airing specific ads to relate to what’s happening. Sounds like a pretty good idea. Just kidding, it sounds like suicide.
Let’s start off with the most obvious observation that seems to go over Verizon’s head. People who buy DVRs do it to escape commercials. Why on Earth would they revert to the polar opposite? One can only assume that they hope to elevate to the price of their ad space past the point of the loses accrued from research and development. Also they must consider the heavy discount they’ll have to give to customers to motivate them to want one of these things inside their home.
Next, we can speculate about the PR hit they’ll take next. Eventually when this makes television news, the headlines it will be tagged with will certainly cause permanent damage. It’s like setting fire to a kindling that’s been gathering for decades. Society is paranoid enough about technology that doesn’t track you (at least openly). What could they possibly add that would give them enough confidence to step over that line? I can’t imagine anything that wouldn’t cause them to have to balance that bad with the good, and all in all, making it a worthless venture.
If Verizon had any form of consciousness of consumer, they would know that large public outcry this kind of thing can be met with. Just consider the kinds of legislation that has been discussed recently in congress. Never before has the internet come together so strong to combat an issue. Good luck in your endeavors Verizon, you’ll need it.