Facebook’s new video chat devices, Portal and Portal Plus, are now available for purchase in the US, but the thought of putting another video camera and microphone in the home might make some consumers feel uneasy. Some writers have called it “the spy in your living room.”
Certainly anything from Facebook has to be viewed with skepticism. After all, the company has a bad track record, possibly the worst record of any social networking site, when it comes to privacy and security. A massive security breach this year allowed hackers to steal personal information from 29 million Facebook accounts. Then there’s the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which exposed the data of roughly 87 million Facebook users without their permission. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
Facebook’s entire business model is built on the concept of gathering as much personal information as possible about its users, their friends, and their acquaintances, and then selling that supposedly private information to anyone willing to pay for it. The company makes millions by selling your personal information. With that business concept in mind, do you REALLY want to have an always-on, always spying, video device in your home? Even worse, are you willing to PAY $200 to $349 for the “privilege” of owning a device that will spy on you and your family and then generate profits for the company that does the spying?
Privacy experts say that with any smart device, consumers need to be aware of what information is being collected and proactively manage that data. Facebook on Wednesday shared more details about the privacy and security safeguards the tech firm put in place. Still, it’ll be up to consumers to decide if that’s enough to trust the social network.
Details may be found in an article by Queenie Wong in the C|Net web site at: https://cnet.co/2AVmKLp.
Even if Facebook assures us that there is no spying capability built into today’s Portal and Portal Plus devices, what’s to keep the company from adding such capabilities in the future? After all, that is the business model of the company: spy, spy, spy.
As for me, I have decided to save $200 to $349 by not buying this thing. If Facebook’s reputation improves in the future, I might reconsider. Yeah, like that’s going to happen… Facebook’s reputation improving???