In the words of a truly eloquent modern-day prophet:
“Hide yo kids. Hide yo wife and hide yo husband.” ~ Antoine Dodson
Facebook’s idea of a “personal space” has been completely obliterated with their recent launch of the Portal and Portal+. These wonderful in-home devices allow you to connect to your friends and family with hands-free calling all while enjoying access to everyone’s favorite disembodied assistant, Alexa.
Connecting through Portal feels like being together in the same room, even when you’re far apart. And Portal makes it easier to connect more regularly with the most important people in your life…Whether you’re moving around the kitchen or chasing the kids through the living room, Portal’s Smart Camera adjusts to follow the action.
The Facebook Team
This amazingly convenient design and responsive technology have raised more than just a few concerns over safety and privacy. After all of the information leaks and recent scandals Facebook has gone through, they’ve done little to quell the concerns.
“For added security, Smart Camera uses AI technology that runs locally on Portal, not on Facebook servers. Portal’s camera does not use facial recognition and does not identify who you are… Facebook doesn’t listen to, view or keep the contents of your Portal video calls. Your Portal conversations stay between you and the people you’re calling.” ~ The Facebook Team
Now, before consumers invite Portal and Portal+ into their homes like a well-dressed vampire from a romance novel, Facebook did allow a few insights into their data use to slip:
“Some of this information may be used to target ads. For example, if you make lots of video calls, you might see some ads related to video calling.” ~ The Facebook Team
Retailing at $199 for the Portal that comes with a 10″ screen and a cool $349 for the pivoting 15″ screen on the Portal+; is the Portal just a digital wolf in slick sheep’s clothing? With my phone already listening to everything and my refrigerator tweeting for me, I don’t think I need another gadget tracking all of my habits.