Last year Facebook introduced Portal; a video chat device that works with Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp & Alexa. During the product launch people were loudly voicing their concerns over privacy due to Facebook’s poor history.
Now, Facebook wants to go a step further with Portal TV that lets you attach a camera to your existing TV.
Starting October 15th 2019, the device will be available for $149, or $179 for a redesigned 10in Portal or $129 for the 8in model.
Laughably, if you view the official website for Portal one of the headings is “Private By Design” but according to Facebook that the device will store voice and other interactions and make them available to contractors. After it was revealed last month that the company stores and listens to voice-to-text messages sent through their Messenger app, many users will find it difficult to trust the company with more data.
Facebook isn’t the only big tech company facing concerns over privacy. Last month, Apple was forced to apologize over allowing contractors to listen to commands users issued to its voice assistant called Siri. Additionally, Google stopped humans from listening to recordings taken by their virtual assistant (albeit temporarily).
In this humble writers’ opinion, if you don’t want unscrupulous giant tech corporations and government agencies listening to everything you say 24/7 I’d avoid these devices. At the very least keep them out of listening distance of places you’re likely to have personal conversations.